Saturday’s letters: The Constitution’s promise to promote the ‘general welfare’ includes health

Published September 12 2018
Updated September 14 2018

Medicare for All is a path to ruin | Letter, Sept. 14

‘General welfare’ includes health

The preamble of the U.S. Constitution states that in order to form a more perfect union, several things needed to be assured. One of those is to "promote the general welfare." It would seem logical to believe that there is no greater element of general welfare than one’s health.

Providing adequate health care for all is good public policy. A healthy citizenry goes a long way in ensuring employers that they will have workers who would be consistently available to perform the duties required of them in a more efficient way, thus improving productivity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, companies lose approximately 2.8 million workdays each year because of employee illnesses, and those absences must inflate company costs, thus reducing productivity. There is no mention of the productivity lost through an employee’s concerns about medical care for himself or family.

National health coverage should help reduce costs, particularly those at the emergency room, which seems to be the medical facility of first resort for many who do not have insurance. Those costs are borne by those who have and pay for insurance. Requiring all to chip in should help spread costs over a much larger number of people. Therefore, it is actuarially sound and should reduce costs for everyone. Further, ensuring access to medical care would aid early detection of a disease or illness and thus further reduce overall costs. One ounce of prevention is worth more than one pound of cure.

In addition, the United States is the only "very highly developed country" of 50 nations that doesn’t have a universal health care. A good healthy citizenry would also assure adequate manpower for military defense, certainly a prime function of government. I view health coverage as a right, not a privilege.

Frank Braccio, Treasure Island

Trail reroute talk angers | Sept. 10

Leave the trail alone

Though I live in Pinellas County, I continue to follow the Hillsborough County Commission’s misguided decisions about recreational land use, since I am avid user of these wonderful resources. The Upper Tampa Bay Trail belongs to all of us in the Tampa Bay region; it is not just the sole property of Hillsborough County. State and local money funded the trail. Hillsborough’s decision to consider development near the trail, made seemingly because of undue influence of the developer’s money, assumes that Hillsborough County exists in isolation from the Tampa Bay region.

Ruining the Tampa Bay Trail by allowing development too close to the trail affects the entire metropolitan region and the state as the trail attracts riders from well beyond Hillsborough County. Too much development along our trails isn’t good for Hillsborough County, and it isn’t good for the region.

Lynn Bosco, Clearwater

Gillum, the FBI, and a boat | Sept. 14

FBI should clear his name

The FBI and the Department of Justice has besmirched the character of Andrew Gillum, even though they have hinted that he is not under investigation. Stop the hints and make headlines to every voter in Florida if it’s the case that Mayor Gillum is not under investigation whatsoever. This is the second time the FBI has tainted the reputations of innocent candidates so close to the elections.

Don Hayes, Tampa

People’s best friend

Dogs are the best

Dogs don’t judge you by the color of your skin (they are truly color-blind) or your sex. They don’t ask if you are straight, gay, transgender or whatever. They are indifferent to the color of your hair, your hairstyle or if you have no hair. It doesn’t matter to them if you are fat, skinny, average-sized, tall or short. They will listen to you rant about your view on politics (and other matters), listening intently but never making a rebuttal. They don’t care if you are rich or poor. They have unconditional love for you regardless of your religion or if you are agnostic or atheist. They are just happy to see you return after five minutes or five days. They will guard you and your family if someone tries to harm you. They are indeed people’s best friend. Why can’t people be more like dogs?

Tom Craig, Riverview

Young or old, the right thing | Letter, Sept. 12

In need of better stewards

I have given great thought to why I would vote yes and give the Hillsborough County school district more money when they have so mismanaged their budget priorities in years past.

Pouring more money into their endless bucket does not seem prudent and, in the end, I will vote no for their tax request.

The leaders of the Hillsborough County school system are looking for the easy way out of the debacle they put themselves in. It is truly a shame that children and teachers have to suffer because of their poor decisions.

J. Bates, Temple Terrace

Rays want stadium details | Sept. 13

What the Rays should get

Considering a greater need in Hillsborough County for schools, low-income housing, infrastructure and transportation alternatives I’d say that the financial breakdown for the $892 million ballpark would be a no-brainer; $0 from Hillsborough and $892 million from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Roger Oddson, Sun City Center

Ron DeSantis still keeping his distance from Florida issues and reporters | Sept. 12

A lot voters don’t know

We are approximately seven weeks from the November election for governor, and we still have little idea where Ron DeSantis stands on much of anything except his undying support for President Donald Trump. How does that help those of us who consider ourselves concerned and thoughtful voters in Florida?

Cathi Greene, Dunedin