Health care split opens | March 5
Legislative sheep all rush into line
Clearly, GOP members of the Florida House have received their marching orders from Grover Norquist and the tea party regarding Medicaid expansion. They must oppose any program that might be construed to represent a revenue increase or in any way supports the Affordable Care Act or risk losing funding and support in the next election.
Never mind that the Medicaid expansion is fiscally responsible, will benefit thousands of uninsured Floridians, will take pressure off cash-strapped hospitals that provide millions in unreimbursed emergency care, and is the morally right thing to do. When Norquist threatens, the sheep all rush into line.
In case this opinion seems exaggerated, ask citizens of central Indiana who were not allowed to vote on badly needed light rail and mass transit after Norquist threatened Republican members of the legislature with loss of funding and support should they dare vote to allow the issue to get on the ballot.
Beth Hernly, St. Petersburg
To get to economic truth, delete ideology March 4, commentary
This piece would serve well as required reading for today's brand of conservative. The article was clear, concise and factual. The authors state that investment by government is necessary in order to avoid recessions if the private sector and/or business are cutting back. The key word is investment.
An individual goes into debt in order to build a house (or start a business, or go to school) with the expectation of a return over a long period of time. The construction of the home employs builders. The house needs furnishings. It needs to be maintained. That house puts money in the pocket of the cabinetmaker who installs the fixtures, who in turn buys that truck that he's needed in order to be more efficient. And so on. If the home buyer doesn't invest (take on debt), none of those people who have anything to do with building or maintaining that house can go forward with their own investments. The economy stalls. People hunker down even more.
So now the Republicans in Congress vote as a bloc that they refuse to invest in the country's future and have no problem in actually going in the opposite direction. They do this because closing tax loopholes would increase revenues, which is unacceptable, even though this was one of their own campaign promises only a few months ago.
Thomas Maciocha, Tampa
An irresponsible move on Medicaid March 5, editorial
Contempt for voters
State Reps. Will Weatherford and Richard Corcoran did not even wait for the legislative session to begin before displaying their contempt for the ordinary working people of Florida.
Despite having the federal government totally fund the expansion of Medicaid for the next three years in our state, these Republican legislators have already voted not to accept such monies, which would be employed for the greater good of the Florida community.
Just why do the people of Florida vote for such candidates who certainly do not have the interests of the voters at heart?
John Starkey, St. Petersburg
Medicaid helped speaker's family | March 6
Like many Republican leaders, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He is against Medicaid for more than 1 million Floridans, but it is okay if Medicaid helped his own family. The people of Florida should check his voting record — they would find that he has voted against the middle class on issues like license fees, taking money from teachers' pay, etc.
I notice he was invited to the Conservative Political Action Committee meeting. He should fit right in with sore losers like Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and the many more who haven't gotten over the last election.
Glen Copeland, Wesley Chapel
Buried for all time | March 5
I was saddened that the body of Jeffrey Bush was not recovered. What has our society become that we can put a man on the moon, send drones halfway around the world digging out terrorists, dig for oil at deep depths on land and at sea — but not recover Bush's body so that he may have a proper burial?
The county and the state of Florida owe the Bush family an apology. They must be devastated by the failure to recover their loved one. May God help our culture and our country.
Ann Price, Tampa
Compounding a tragedy
This is a terrible tragedy that befell this man and his family. They are mourning, questioning if they did all they could, asking why this happened and why to them. And then the Times blazes a big headline on the front page, "Buried for all time."
I realize the bay area looks to you for the news, but how about tempering that with a little compassion, empathy, or just common sense? There is no need to add to the pain.
Laurel Harmon, St. Petersburg
In a first, baby with HIV said to be cured March 4
Research dollars pay results
I am both baffled and astounded by science. The vast universe holds so much that is unobservable, but this week within our observable spot on Earth, we were greeted with the news that a baby had been cured of an HIV infection. This announcement is something that I never thought that I would read about in my lifetime.
So much has been accomplished in the area of infectious diseases such as AIDS, TB and malaria that the momentum of these efforts should spiral forward.
The Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria is currently the subject of federal budget appropriations in Congress for fiscal year 2014. This agency is the vehicle to deliver what science has provided. For the health of humanity across the globe, our U.S. legislators need to adequately fund the Global Fund, and thus become part of history in making these infectious illnesses a footnote in history.
Barbara Drake, Tampa