Then there's the cost | March 23, commentary
A nation's wealth is in its people
In sleuthing for "hidden costs" in the health care legislation, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, like so many in the No-Party, is mistaken about what makes a country wealthy.
The future wealth of this country is not the magnitude of budget deficits (or surpluses), rather it is our people. As notable economists (including those at the World Bank) have discovered, a country's future wealth is determined by the quality of the work force (especially its education and health), and its organizational and governmental institutions. Our now historic health care reform package significantly promotes these determinants of real wealth.
The extension and improvements in health care accessibility for Americans will help to redress the growing health care crisis in this country, thus helping to restore a sense of fairness and cohesion after decades of increasing inequality. As a result of most income gains going to only the top 5 percent of the population —with most families having experienced stagnation of incomes for the past four decades — the opportunity for health insurance has been denied tens of millions because the costs of health care have accelerated far beyond affordability.
A future of quality education and health care, and institutions responsive to ensuring equal opportunity for all, is the best legacy we can bequeath to our children and grandchildren, and it's what will make for a prosperous nation as well.
Robert White, Valrico
So secure, it's stifling March 24, David Brooks column
Health care reform brings a new era of freedom
This David Brooks column was written from the perspective of someone who has never been without health insurance or faced bankruptcy because of medical bills. The health care bill just passed ushers in a new era of freedom for those it helps as they will better enjoy "liberty and justice for all":
There's the freedom to seek medical care for an illness before it becomes so severe it qualifies for emergency room treatment. There's the freedom to secure long-term treatment not covered by emergency rooms. Freedom to change jobs without losing medical coverage. Freedom to find medical insurance if you have a pre-existing condition. Freedom from fear that your insurance will be rescinded if you need repeated treatments. Freedom for small businesses to enjoy lower overhead costs to better compete with large firms. Freedom to quit a job to pursue entrepreneurial dreams without losing reasonable access to insurance.
Because of these new freedoms, an era of economic vibrancy will be fostered, contrary to the pessimistic view of David Brooks.
Roland Moy, St. Petersburg
So secure, it's stifling March 24, David Brooks column
Incentive to excel
David Brooks must have a low opinion of Americans. He believes now that we have health care reform we will stop working, stop innovating, stop inventing. He makes it sound as though the only reason anyone ever did anything extraordinary is that they were afraid of getting sick and not being able to afford a doctor.
I believe more people than ever will excel, knowing that even if they leave a firm to start their own business, they won't lose their health care.
Steve Harden, Holiday
Health care bill
I think we need to be grateful to the Democrat Party for the underhanded way they slipped this health care bill into law. I personally cannot stomach either of these parties. I am an Independent, and I do not believe the garbage coming from McCain or Palin, or Obama, or Pelosi.
I think the politicians have no idea of the level of anger they have inspired in the not so silent majority of Americans who were against the passage of this bill. I firmly believe that this may promote a third party. I think a lot of us would welcome it.
The representatives we elect do not go to Washington to represent us; they take their seats and become pawns of the party. Perhaps they will wish they had listened when in November the voters get their chance to decide who should represent them.
Donald Kennedy, Largo
A loss of trust?
I find it ironic that the Republican Party does not trust the government. They claim the government cannot be trusted to do what is right for the sake of the people. But are they not part of that government? So does this mean they do not trust themselves?
Matthew Mahoney, St. Petersburg
With Republican state Attorney General Bill McCollum running for governor, he should not be allowed to use any taxpayer money or his own or his staffers' office time to file a lawsuit in regard to the health care bill. This is blatant political posturing designed to garner him votes in the next election.
If the attorney general is adamant about pursuing the lawsuit, he needs to not run for governor. If he intends to run for governor, he needs to drop the lawsuit. Otherwise, I think the state ethics committee needs to investigate this as a conflict of interest.
The other option is that, if he really believes the bill is wrong, he can use his own money, and his own time outside of work hours, to file the lawsuit personally. Otherwise he is clearly using taxpayer funds for his own political gain.
Karen Spisak, Tampa
Not with tax dollars
Agree with him or not, I resent the fact that state Attorney General Bill McCollum is using my money to pursue his own partisan agenda in this lawsuit against the new health care legislation. His chances of success are slim to none. There are much better places to use taxpayer dollars!
Bill Balmer, Seminole
We pay on both ends
I would like to ask Attorney General Bill McCollum how much his lawsuit will cost the people of Florida through our state taxes. And how much will it cost the people of Florida through our federal taxes, to defend against this lawsuit?
Remember, folks, we have to pay both ways. Remember this at the voting booths.
Richard White, New Port Richey