Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday’s letters: United effort needed to fix health care

Yes, you can sign up for health care | Nov. 1, editorial

Unified effort needed on health

Thank you for your terrific coverage of the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act. There has been so much misinformation and such a lack of transparency about the realities. I have not seen much discussion of the facts anyplace but your paper. I hope that people who read the Tampa Bay Times will help get the word out to their friends and family that they need to act quickly to review their health coverage and make any changes they want for the upcoming year.

You are correct when you state that the ACA is not a perfect law. I don’t think anyone, least of all Barack Obama whose name is on it, would disagree. But it was the best that could be worked out at the time. Obviously, health care in this country is a critical issue and one that needs to be addressed. The only way to do that is for both sides to come together and listen to experts and citizens to create something that covers everyone and reduces costs for the country.

I, and many other people, believe that moving to single-payer universal health care would solve most of the issues with our current collection of health care systems. We need to keep the pressure on our elected representatives to stop their bickering and their attempts to sabotage the current, imperfect, system. They need to work on behalf of all Americans to provide a truly universal, comprehensive health care program.

Jenni Casale, Palmetto

Fair Obamacare deal | Oct. 20, editorial

A bipartisan step forward

The recent announcement of bipartisan legislation to help stabilize the health insurance markets, while also providing protection for pre-existing conditions, is an important step forward in the ongoing health care debate. We applaud Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray for their leadership on the issue and strongly encourage Sen. Marco Rubio to co-sponsor this bill.

It is imperative that the health insurance markets are stabilized while also ensuring quality health insurance is affordable and available to all. Additionally, as the proposal makes its way through the legislative process, we call on Rubio to protect the thousands in Florida suffering from lung diseases such as asthma and emphysema by protecting pre-existing condition coverage.

The American Lung Association supports this effort and looks forward to working with Rubio to ensure that all Floridians have affordable, quality health insurance.

Martha Bogdan, executive vice president, Southeast region, American Lung Association, Jacksonville

Suspect to receive mental evaluation Oct. 31

Waste of time and money

How much has the state spent (wasted) in the past decade gathering evidence to charge Steven Lorenzo with murder? And how much more will it spend (waste) to try a 58-year-old man already serving a 200-year federal prison sentence (where he will die), all for the opportunity to kill him (maybe) after he spends 10-15 years on death row while the state spends (wastes) more money on his appeals?

Bruce Lowitt, Oldsmar

Trump threatens NBC over ‘fake’ story Oct. 13

The importance of the press

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses (issues) on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, outlining his problems with the Catholic Church. The church had lost its focus and Luther wanted to get it back on track. Seventeen years earlier, a similar individual was burned at the stake. The difference for Luther was the Gutenberg printing press, which allowed him to disseminate his positions to the German people. This led to the Reformation, which impacts most Christians even today.

This shows the power of the press. Today the free press continues to operate to keep corruption and the like at bay. Now we deal with the government rather than the church, but the effect is the same. Without a free press, corruption would be rampant. So when President Donald Trump speaks about revoking the license of certain media, that should concern all people. We need to treasure our free press.

Paul Riffel, Lutz

Plan gives private schools state cash | Nov. 1

Support public schools

Marva Johnson, state Board of Education chair, wants to give state money to private and religious schools because students’ individual learning needs are not completely met and accommodated at their zoned public schools. But the reason for this lack of accommodation is the state’s lack of funding these programs in the public schools.

There used to be special programs in the public schools that were designed to improve education for students with special needs, short- or long-range. A little over 20 years ago our Legislature gradually began reducing this funding for programs and personnel to meet needs and make accommodations. Now they want to give extra money to private and religious schools.

Why not give full funding to public schools? Is it because some of these legislators have a financial stake in these organizations?

Rita Nelson, Hudson


Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18