Health bill feud explodes | Oct. 13, story
We need decent health care for all
When I read the headline, I thought: "Here we go again." The insurance industry's eleventh-hour attack is another example of their greed and dishonesty. They are using fear, with a capital "F," to obfuscate the issue.
One can then turn to the Florida News in the Tampa Bay section to see what health care could be like in America (Dr. Joe can't say no to poor, needy). Miami physician Jose Greer is an example of the best of the medical profession. His 20-year care of the poor is an example of true compassion. If we're waiting for the insurance industry to display an inkling of that caring, don't bother.
What is it going to take to turn around health care? We have a great plan, and Medicare. But what about working families? What about working single men and women who have no insurance? Republicans, Democrats, independents need to step up. We all need to get word to our politicians. Tell them we need decent health care for all. Please don't expect the insurance companies to change their ways.
Dr. Greer noted, "Hell is going to filled with insurance people. I hope they enjoy all the money they are making." And I hope that we have a president who can finally make the changes we sorely need. But he needs support from us.
Lilyan V. Dayton, New Port Richey
Republican Snowe helps health bill clear hurdle | Oct. 14, story
Insurance industry needs to wake up
There is virtually no competition among the health insurance companies in Maine. As a result premiums are very high, service is lousy, only healthy people get insured and the voters (especially the small business people) are furious. The pressure on Sen. Olympia Snowe is intense.
If the health insurance companies had more sense and less greed they would cut costs, increase efficiency and quit shafting the public. The private insurance industry spends 30 percent of revenues on overhead (and fat executive salaries). Medicare spends 5 percent or less.
The health insurance industry executives are digging their own grave. Shoveling money to Congress will buy them time, but sooner or later they will have to straighten up or go out of business.
Pete Wilford, Holiday
Health care comparisons
As Will Rogers, one of our more notable humorists of the last century, would say: "All I know is what I read in the newspapers." Today, we also have the Internet.
Let's see if I have this straight in comparing our proposed health plan with the plan used by our Canadian friends to the north. In the Canadian plan a tax is paid by the people. These funds are used to assure health care to the entire nation.
Some like the system and some don't like the system, which is normal in any comparison. However Canada's system has an approval rating of 85 percent or more and private insurers are available.
Lawmakers in Washington are working on a law requiring nearly everyone in our country to pay for a health plan. This will be a monthly premium paid to private insurers offering health polices. We will have a number of plans to choose from, by a competitive field of insurers. That's where the freedom to choose and reduced costs come in. These many plans will be run by people in firms where profits are an item in the decisionmaking.
Canadian life expectancy is about 80 years, compared to about 78 years in the United States.
All of the above was gleaned from my reading the newspaper, with help from the Internet.
Can our lawmakers give us a plan that will receive an approval rating of 85 percent? Or do we care? I think it's an honest comparison, as we are just an extension of each other's population in habits, lifestyle and health problems.
Hartley Steeves, Tampa
Squeeze out the profit
Many of us have been watching closely the evolving scenario surrounding the fitful debate on health care reform, and we are simply appalled and saddened. I find it appalling that America cannot find it within itself to provide for the well-being of its citizens. We are saddened by the brazen bullying by organized health industry interests to secure their continued spot at the trough at the expense of the rest of the community's interests.
The insurance industry warns that health care costs will grow 111 percent over the next decade due to the Baucus reform bill, instead of just 79 percent if we leave them all alone to continue as they have been. The Baucus bill is a softball lob, when it is a high, hard brushback that is needed. If the profit motive cannot be removed totally from the American community's health care, then a lot of it needs to be squeezed out.
Our health care system has been gouging us. You can argue whether it is a big gouge or a little gouge, but it has been a gouge for too long. The nation's health resources have been diverted in the wrong direction, and our members of Congress are tripping all over themselves to avoid making the correct play.
Perhaps the president can grab the attention of our elected representatives by impounding the funds that pay for their health care programs. Let us have them go out and shop for health coverage like the rest of the nation, and just maybe they will finally understand we, the citizenry, need some relief.
Scott Brown, Tampa
Inept government | Oct. 12, letter
It's our government
A letter writer says the crumbling of America's infrastructure is due to inept government.
I'd like to remind him that we are the government. We elect our representatives from the bottom to the top and not only that, but if we the people don't want to pay taxes we can't expect anything to be fixed. We are the government in every respect.
The more we as a country scream for lower taxes, the more we get left behind. If folks don't want government interference, they should be willing to give up the military, interstate highways, local libraries, street repairs, water and sewage, trash pickup, the postal service, and Social Security and Medicare.
If you don't want government, you will have anarchy and I choose not to live like that. Pay your taxes. Study who is running for what position; insist on clean government from the bottom up; and quit being so lazy that all you do is complain with no solution to what you deem as a problem. Get involved!
Kay Kelly, Clearwater
The drilling nightmare
I had a dream the other night. I had a dream that the state of Florida had passed a law banning forever any oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
I had a dream that I would not have to write this letter again, telling of my years in Houston, when we took our children to the beach at Galveston every weekend to enjoy some sand and saltwater … and why we had to always have a can of solvent in the car to wipe off the oil from their bodies. There was never an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico during that time, but there was oil being drilled and we could see the oil rigs from the beach as they stood in the gulf.
Joan R. Malone, St. Petersburg
Require a license | Oct. 9, letter
Better operators needed
A letter suggested that operator licensing would resolve and/or prevent boat crashes. I don't think it will work better than the Florida driver's license does to prevent car crashes. We see far too many licensed drivers not obeying traffic laws.
When the issue of car crashes and injuries is resolved, the boating issue will most likely be resolved as well. Sooner is better.
Ward Weinstock, Lutz