Now is the time for health reform | March 18, editorial
Obama bit off more than he can chew
Your editorial points out several statistics I find irrelevant to the debate over this convoluted health care legislation. The fact that the number of California's uninsured has jumped 28 percent in the past three years is due to the number of illegal immigrants. That number is reflected in the increased emergency room visits and therefore cost increases. Does the Senate bill address this issue? No, and therefore it would have only passed along that cost increase to the rest of us.
Not passing this bill would not be a failure for the nation, only for a narcissistic president and a majority party drunk with power. The bottom line is that President Barack Obama has bitten off more than he can chew and is now choking on his on ego.
He and the Democrats wanted way too much in the first round of the draft and refused to yield until it was too late.
Now the nation sees through the smoke and mirrors, the back-room deals and lies told so often that many take them for fact.
If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dares to use unconstitutional parliamentary maneuvers to pass such a broad outline of a law that can be changed at will, there will be much more than a monetary price to pay.
If she does this, Democrats will be relegated to the back bench and will remain there for decades.
Dennis Roper, Clearwater
The undecideds | March 18, story
Get off the fence and vote for reform
I think I want to poke a hot rod at the members of Congress that your article by Alex Leary highlighted. No one who is remotely informed, let alone a member of Congress, doesn't have an opinion on health reform. It affects everyone. I am, post divorce, sans health insurance, as I've broken more bones than I can think of in one sitting, despite a relatively good memory. I'm not insurable under current rules.
So I have an opinion and it goes like this: Vote for President Barack Obama's version of passable health care. Those of you who have done your homework will know that he saw Bill Clinton attempting to pass a better bill and get beaten badly. Obama's strategy was to allow Congress, doctors, big pharma, etc., to write a reform bill, rightfully concluding he couldn't get one passed otherwise. He then figured he could come back in his second term and clean up the greasy mess the greed heads had created, as by then their corruption and greed would be public and documentable.
What he didn't count on was the greed heads publicly cutting up the pie. He wasn't naive enough to think there wouldn't be some horse- trading, but I think he was shocked at how corrupt and un-American the lawmakers are. What the public needs to remember is that his goal is a necessity. Not only will current health costs bankrupt this country, but they will, given a little more time, leave 25 percent of our population without health care. Do you think that is competitive in the global economy?
So as for the uncommitted Congress critters, please call them. If you believe your employer will take care of you for life, tell them to vote no. If you have even the slightest doubt that your provider of health insurance will take care of you, your spouse, and your kids you best get on the phone.
John Follman, Tampa
Now is the time for health reform March 18, editorial
What's the rush?
Putting aside any substantive issues in the 2,000-plus page bill (the details of which the Times does not seem overly concerned about), if the bill is so necessary and timely, why do we have to wait until 2014 or later for so many of the provisions to take effect? This whole process is like driving 100 miles per hour to catch a red light, a really long red light.
Remind me again why we are in such a hurry? Of course: "It's better than nothing." And "We can't afford not to…" These are pathetically weak arguments that conveniently deflect substance and cost.
Eric Burns, Palm Harbor
Pay taxes with pride
For some, taxes are paid with the feeling of resentment. Unless one is really being taxed unfairly, there should be a feeling of pride. I say this because in this free enterprise system of ours, we should be grateful if we benefit from that system. And the more we benefit, the more we should contribute.
A system of government based on free enterprise does not exist in a vacuum. It takes money to have the best systems of education, justice, health care, transportation, military, etc. The better we fund and improve those systems, the more healthy, peaceful and united we become in the America that we love.
Carl P. Hansen, Clearwater
Partisan poison kills friendships March 16, Connie Schultz column
Show respect for all
I was quite dismayed by Connie Schultz's column in which she expressed intolerance for a political e-mail that opposes President Barack Obama and his agenda.
Where was Schultz's outrage when a wartime president was referred to as an incompetent liar and torturer? Why didn't Schultz take issue with the left when they were feigning outrage and concern over the treatment of captured terrorists in lieu of supporting our brave troops?
The level of disrespect that has been afforded Gov. Sarah Palin and her family since summer 2008 is unprecedented. Nevertheless, the silence from feminists has been absolutely deafening.
I fully agree with Connie Schultz's assertion that we can disagree with our elected officials without attacking them personally. However, respect is a two-way street that should be given to all politicians, not just those who meet liberal standards.
Thomas W. Cunningham Jr., St. Petersburg
Partisan poison kills friendships | March 16
I just wanted to thank you for publishing Connie Schultz's column. Years ago, a friend used to occasionally send me her work from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and I have really enjoyed seeing it now in the St. Petersburg Times.
I have had the same problem with so called "partisan" e-mails and Facebook but have not made any effort to discourage them. Instead, I fume and think of what I should reply, but I don't. Maybe now I will reply. Thanks, Connie.
Fran Hutchinson, Spring Hill
Florida is losing funds
I would like to inform the antigambling folks of something they might not be aware of. Every week there are numerous chartered airliners full of well-off retirees departing Florida for casino destinations in other states.
Whatever antigamblers may believe does not change this fact: Lots of law-abiding Floridians with excess cash are enjoying spending their money in other states, and that money is never coming back to Florida.
William Kirschner, St. Petersburg