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Friday's letters: Secret negotiations on health care are scandalous

Health care bill negotiations

Secret dealings are scandalous

In what has to be the most despicable, sleazy and unethical display of political arrogance, President Barack Obama and Democrats have decided to bypass conference committees and continue to have the writing of the health care bill done in secret.

C-SPAN, which has offered to televise the negotiations for a final bill between the House and Senate, was ignored by Obama and the Democrats. The president's decision to ignore C-SPAN and shut the Republicans out of the negotiations is particularly unsavory considering his campaign promise not to negotiate behind closed doors, to have both parties present, and have C-SPAN televise the negotiations for the American people.

When asked about the president's promise, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: "There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail." This statement shows that Obama would have said anything to get elected. Pelosi's additional remarks about how the Democrats have conducted the most open and transparent process on the health care bill are an insult to the intelligence of every American.

Anyone, Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, has to be embarrassed by the actions of the Democrats throughout the entire proceedings. What we have demonstrated is that political payoffs, secret closed-door meetings and broken promises are business as usual in Washington.

Louis Ciardulli, Safety Harbor

Partisan stalling, or valid questions? | Jan. 3, Howard Troxler column

Health care questions are worth raising

I wish to commend Howard Troxler for his column concerning Congress' authorized powers and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum's joining with several other states in questioning whether the big health care bill in Congress is constitutional.

Troxler made some very good arguments on whether the Supreme Court should, as he put it, "clip Congress' wings" by declaring that the proposed bill is unconstitutional with regard to levying a "direct tax" on Americans who don't have health care.

Troxler also asked if it's constitutional for Congress to cut sweetheart deals in order to win the vote of certain senators — like the one from Nebraska — by paying for certain Medicaid costs there even after cutting them off for other states. While defenders of this proposal say laws affect states differently all the time, Troxler points out every law is supposed to promote the "general welfare."

Hurray for Howard Troxler's pointing out that it would be good if a number of state attorneys general ask questions on the health care bills and that these questions are worthy of answers, even if the askers are Republicans.

Doris J. Houdesheldt, St. Petersburg

The system will adjust | Dec. 31, letter

It's all about the money

What is the letter writer, a physician, trying to tell us in a roundabout way? That if the money is right, there will be adequate care for the people who do not have insurance and who will be covered. Is there a shortage of doctors, of primary care physicians? They are all becoming specialists and charging huge fees. So that seems to be the problem: money!

What happened to the reason for becoming a physician? Have physicians forgotten the oath they swore upon receiving their license to practice? Has the oath changed in the last 20 years? I guess it has, and we will forever have to pay for it. How sad that doctors have forgotten why we used to look up to them and now look at them with rage while we pay their outrageous charges.

Judith M. Stevens, Clearwater

The coming decade could be a tea party Jan. 6, David Brooks column

Education devalued

David Brooks demonstrated clearly how successful the Republican Party has been in converting the United States into a Third World country. Brooks notes that "Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year." By convincing Americans that education is to be ridiculed rather than aspired to, power can be concentrated by a limited group of the very wealthy.

Fox News, in particular, has been extremely successful in convincing "average" Americans that the educated are the enemy. Why? Because the ignorant are much easier to control. Just give them something to "hate," like "the educated class," and they will believe whatever you tell them. For example, many of the very people who are one car accident away from bankruptcy have been convinced that "America has the best health care system in the world" and that universal health care will mean rationing.

I know how incredibly fortunate I am because my family valued education. My education has provided me a life that was completely unimaginable to my parents, or to me during my childhood.

It breaks my heart to think that the majority of Americans no longer value education and the amazing opportunities it can provide. Just using the term "class" makes education seem less attainable.

America had tremendous successes in the 20th century because a significant proportion of the populace valued education (think GI Bill after World War II). The prediction that future generations will be worse off than the current generations is guaranteed as the "tea party" mentality prevails.

Pamela Muller, St. Petersburg

The coming decade could be a tea party Jan. 6, David Brooks column

Seeing through Obama

While acknowledging the potential significance of the tea party movement, David Brooks goes to great pains to explain that the tea partiers are a pack of passionate zealots desperately in need of leadership. Brooks assumes that the tea partiers are uneducated, whereas the presumptively superior class that wants us to become Belgium is the "educated class."

Brooks must think that we dumb folks are too passionate or too stupid to see that Barack Obama has harnessed the money of George Soros to create a new oligarchy made up of super-rich private equity players who supplement Soros' funding of the political thuggery and lawlessness that characterizes the Obama administration and the thugs themselves.

If Brooks were not blinded by his contempt for us dumb folks, he would realize that the tea partiers have correctly determined that the Obama regime has executed a pincer movement intended to ruin the lives of people who work for a living but who don't earn millions and who are not members of a labor union.

Jeffrey Meyer, Clearwater

You said it | Jan. 5, letter

A positive influence

The letter writer said she is irritated by Tim Tebow's need to advertise his religious beliefs on his face.

It is sad when a young man who may be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time is criticized because he uses his high-profile status to uphold what he believes in on and off the playing field.

His greatest contributions are examples of fair play, a humanitarian approach to life and the time he gives to the many charities and causes he is actively involved in.

Hopefully Tim Tebow will continue reminding others that celebrity influence can be positive and uplifting, whether he chooses to wear it on his face on game day or by actually living it as he does in his everyday life.

Mimi Bryan, Tampa

You said it | Jan. 5, letter

What he stands for

In an age when we have so much drug use, killing, sexual promiscuity and suicide in our youth culture, one would think the letter writer could find something other to complain about than Tim Tebow's wearing of Scripture verse on his cheeks.

He is a solid Christian young man who happens to go on mission trips and do many fine things off the field. What's he's doing is not "advertizing," as she states, but he's honoring and reminding himself and others who he stands for. Maybe we should all do that a little more often.

James Fitzpatrick, Clearwater

Friday's letters: Secret negotiations on health care are scandalous 01/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 7, 2010 6:02pm]
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