Medicaid's good health dividend | July 9, editorial
Put all Americans on Medicare
Many doctors do not accept Medicaid. Those like me who do must balance the loss incurred in caring for a Medicaid patient with better-paying commercial contract patients — contracts I am able to negotiate only because I have a niche practice.
As the Medicaid rolls increase with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, physicians are likely to care for even fewer Medicaid patients. I propose that Medicaid be discontinued. Instead, give every American Medicare, which pays physicians nearly twice as much as Medicaid and which is accepted by most doctors.
As in Canada, Medicare would cover emergency care, annual well visits and necessary hospitalizations, but access to specialized physicians and surgeons would be limited.
Jeffrey B. Neustadt, M.D., St. Petersburg
Promises we can't keep
Of course low-income Americans are more likely to take care of their health and feel healthier, happier and more financially stable with Medicaid expansion. Along with their welfare and food stamps, we the people get to take care of their health. Now they really have no reason to find a job. As Jesus once said, "Give a man a fish he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime."
When our politicians stop making promises we can't keep and our populace stops sticking out their hands with a what's-in-it-for-me attitude, we can get back on the path of being a great nation.
Eric Webber, Palm Harbor
Our demand drives sleaze
It seems that too many in the news business today rely on pandering to what they think is their audience, and for Rupert Murdoch and others in the tabloid side of print, this includes insider "scoops" of questionable veracity.
If the public wishes to purchase this trash, then they deserve to receive just that — trash, not truth. If we buy it, we shouldn't be surprised if our hands are as dirty as Murdoch's and others who peddle the same sleaze.
Robert P. Curran, Beverly Hills
Little confidence in Obama
The Obama administration, the head of the Federal Reserve and many prominent economists are confounded by the slow rate of job growth following the recession that officially ended in June 2009.
But consider that the country faces giant deficits, escalating debt, high energy prices, the decline of the U.S. dollar and a potential debt rating downgrade. The future is also clouded by the overhaul of health care that has left businesses guessing at its impact, new regulations and threats of tax increases.
It is no wonder the economy is struggling with low job growth. The administration has done little to create either confidence or optimism.
Joe Wareham, Tierra Verde
Fiddling while Rome burns
With our economy on the brink and our No. 1 issue being job creation, our leaders are debating the debt ceiling again.
Why are we playing political games with this issue? The limit was raised five times during the Bush administration without a hitch. The good credit and reputation of our country is at risk, and Republicans are using the issue to posture and win political points.
Bobby Lonardo, Seminole
Nice work if you can get it
Sen. Marco Rubio and other Republicans doubt that a tax has ever created a job. That's curiously obtuse for a seemingly intelligent man. Let's start with the obvious job created by taxes: his. Members of Congress get a good salary and rich benefits.
Let's not stop there. Is Rubio saying he doesn't recognize the value of other tax-created jobs? How about members of the military, police officers, firefighters, park rangers? And the jobs aren't all in the public sector. Road building not only creates temporary construction jobs but also facilitates commerce, which creates plenty of private sector jobs.
Jobs aside, the tax debate has provided us with a plenitude of one particular commodity: baloney.
Jack Reed, Palm Harbor
Create a job, get a tax break
I am in favor of tax breaks for job creators. However, why don't we do this once the jobs have been created? Why would you reward someone for a task before they accomplished it? The tax breaks have been around for years have not created very many jobs.
Ross P. Alander, Tampa
Bounty for billionaires
When President George W. Bush proposed a tax cut for "all," billionaires including Warren Buffett took out an ad saying they didn't need the break. The president and Democrats are now asking the same of the very wealthy. I am ashamed that my Republican Rep. Bill Young is supporting his leader's defense of tax breaks for billionaires and hedge fund managers.
Robert McEwen, Indian Shores
Waterfront protections need no vote July 10, editorial
Let the people be heard
On July 7, the Times said the governor should heed the public's opposition to Honeymoon Island campsites. On July 10, the Times said there was no need to put a plan to a public vote on financing a big project on the St. Petersburg waterfront.
Make up your mind. Either the people have a right to be heard in the development of a public area or they don't. Projects should stand or fall on their merits, not on whether the sponsors can win over a small group of insiders or supporters.
Willi Rudowsky, St. Petersburg
Would dental schools fill gap? | July 10
Something to chew on
This article says "the state has only one dental school," at the University of Florida, but Nova Southeastern University's College of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale opened in 1997.
The assertion by Dr. Cesar Sabates that graduating more dentists is an "insufficient strategy for improving public access to dental care" is self-serving. Dentists traditionally oppose attempts to add dental graduates or dental schools to a community for fear of the additional competition.
Stephen M. Feldman, DDS, Valrico