Doing the math on health law | Aug. 4, editorial
Gimmicks hide cost of health law
This editorial failed to provide a full telling of the facts when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. While you note that the Congressional Budget Office estimates the health care law will reduce the deficit, you fail to mention the gimmicks used by those who drafted the legislation in order to hide its true cost.
But perhaps most puzzling is the claim that Republicans have not offered serious health care reform proposals. In fact, there are multiple proposals authored by Republicans — including HR 3000, the Empowering Patients First Act. That bill's author is House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga. — the same representative referenced in your editorial. This act would help make health insurance coverage affordable by allowing people — including those with pre-existing conditions — to pool together so they have purchasing power and greater choices in health care coverage. It reforms the medical liability system, and it does all of this without giving Washington greater authority over health care.
The cost of the Affordable Care Act is more than numbers on a page. It is the damage that will be done to our health care system when Americans lose access to the health care coverage they currently enjoy; when they have to purchase a product the government approves of rather than the one they would choose for themselves; and when the doctor-patient relationship is put at risk because of Washington's heavy hand.
Miguel Fana, M.D., Clearwater
Truth or fiction: It's all the same to them Aug. 7, commentary
Democrats plumb new low
If anyone was wondering when the Democrats would begin to panic, the waiting is over. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's attack on Mitt Romney has reached a new low, even for Democrats.
A little bird told Reid that Romney hasn't paid his taxes in the last 10 years, but he refuses to divulge his source. Nancy Pelosi follows up Reid by stating that the tale is true "because someone told Reid it was so." Are we on the first-grade playground here? What kind of morons do they take us for?
Reid should put up or shut up. And where he is concerned, let's lay out some uncontested facts. Reid has refused to produce a Senate budget for four years as required by law. Reid has bottled up House bills that might create jobs and would help reduce our federal deficit.
Romney does owe the American people transparency where his taxes are concerned, but Reid's tactics are shameful, pathetic and typical of the left-wing smear machine as run by David Axelrod.
Jay Johnson, St. Petersburg
Republican National Convention
Right turn rockers
I was chagrined to learn that my ex-hero Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd had committed to play the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
As I know all their lyrics, I am an older, wiser aficionado, but I may be developing memory problems, because perhaps the best song against the NRA's policies is Skynyrd's Saturday Night Special. Deceased frontman Ronnie Van Sant, the conscience of the band, belts out: "Handguns are made for killing, ain't no good for nothin' else" and "why don't we dump 'em people to the bottom of the sea."
Perhaps the new Skynyrd will leave this off their set list. But what about Things Goin' On? Will they ask, "Have you ever lived down in the ghetto? Have you ever felt the cold wind blow?"
Michael W. Skinner, Safety Harbor
Gunman in Sikh temple attack was white supremacist | Aug. 7
Lots of true, loyal and gentle Americans own guns, and have every right to.
Unfortunately, we have no way not to deliver guns to the mentally unstable, fragile, angry or hatefully stupid folks among us. Perhaps we can expand the definition of a "background check," but at some point we start bumping up against other constitutional rights.
The conundrum is deep and inflexible and so we are left to face each day simply hoping that we don't walk into a living nightmare of death in some innocent daily place. We are left only one defense: Be prepared, be careful, and be ready because there are still lots of madmen and morons that want to make their nightmare ours.
Michael Blowers, Largo
Voting and values | Aug. 7, letter
Liberty for all
I too would like to encourage all citizens to vote on Nov. 6. We should vote for a president and government officials who don't believe in more tax breaks for the rich at the expense of the middle class and poor, believe there is global warming, believe in fair pay for women, don't want to cut Medicaid and gut Medicare, don't want to defund Planned Parenthood or privatize Social Security, believe that everyone should have health care, and lastly believe that all men and women, including gays and lesbians, are created equal and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Ed Harrar, Lithia
For a wider, stronger democracy Aug. 8, editorial
Record of failure
As a independent voter I'm not allowed to vote in primary elections for either party, but what I don't understand is why the citizens of Florida keep voting in the same Republicans into office who have had full control of Florida politics since 1996. Look where we are: We have one of the highest rates of unemployment and we almost lead the nation in foreclosures. You'd think after all of those years leading Florida politics, if they had the right ideas on how to change the economy around we would be in better shape than the rest of the states.
Donald Johnston, Port Richey
Elia's contract to be renewed | Aug. 8
Integrity and leadership
As a retired administrator in the Hillsborough County School District, I find it hard to perceive how one School Board member feels she needs to evaluate superintendent MaryEllen Elia as less than satisfactory. Elia has shown integrity, character, leadership, decisiveness and sensitivity in her time as superintendent. Perhaps some of the decisions could have been handled differently; however, to demean the superintendent because she has made decisions you may not have agreed with is appalling and unprofessional.
Shirley A. Trujillo, Brandon