Panel: 'No' on Medicaid | March 12
They won't lift a finger for poor
State Sen. Jeff Brandes asks the rhetorical question: "Why in the world would we take the federal government's position when they promise that they'll pay for Medicaid expansion when we know that they will be unable to keep that promise in the long run?"
The answer is that, first, we the people of Florida do not share his arrogant clairvoyance regarding the future capabilities of the federal government. Second, though we certainly do recognize flaws in the federal government, we trust them on matters concerning assistance to needy citizens far more than we trust him and his Republican colleagues who haven't lifted a finger to help any of the medically needy while continuously whining about the Affordable Care Act.
Brandes says he wants a program that is "stronger" than Medicaid. Does he mean stronger in terms of meeting the requirements of the medically needy or stronger in terms of a lower state government expenditure? If his answer is "both," then he needs to join the voices of reason calling for a single-payer plan.
Alvin G. Wood, St. Petersburg
Panel: 'No' on Medicaid | March 12
The GOP-led Legislature is declining Medicaid coverage for those who cannot get or afford health care coverage. These are the same people who receive health care coverage at rates lower than regular state employees. What hypocrites.
Ross P. Alander, Tampa
The actions of the Republican majority in our Legislature are staggering.
They have had the last four years to do something about a problem that is about to be solved by federally granted money, and only now do they decide that they don't like that idea and will come up with one of their own. Guess who will benefit from that? The private insurance companies, who have given these legislators so much money.
How these legislators can look at themselves in the mirror and convince themselves that they are "for the people" is beyond any sane person's belief.
John Starkey, St. Petersburg
Senators shocked to find health care crisis March 12, John Romano column
No time to waste
John Romano was right on in his assessment of Florida senators being "shocked" to find a health care crisis. I have been shocked since relocating to Florida by the lack of empathy toward the uninsured.
Hospitals and medical facilities pass on "ballooning medical and insurance costs" to the rest of us, and many of us are managing on retirement income.
I believe we all know the answer: the federal government's input of Medicaid money. Senators, please reconsider and don't waste years looking for "a better plan."
Joan Hedlund, San Antonio
Scott's good conscience too quiet on Medicaid | March 12, Steve Bousquet column
Giving up on the fight
Gov. Rick Scott's lack of follow-through on the Medicaid expansion funding situation is tragic. He sounded very concerned at first, but it was apparently not worth the fight for those 1 million people who will not receive medical care.
He said it was a matter of conscience, and it is. How can we allow 1 million people to suffer because it was not good politically to receive funds, even though this help could potentially save lives? If the health of 1 million Floridians isn't worth fighting for, what is?
Cecilia Yocum, Tampa
Crack down on corporate welfare March 11, editorial
Fuel for innovation
Your editorial on corporate welfare gave a shallow, limited and uninformed perspective on providing tax incentives for corporations.
I can speak specifically about tax breaks Chevron has received. Chevron, like many other oil companies, is doing research to locate other types of energy to augment fossil fuels and to locate new energy sources from fossil fuels — necessary to augment alternative sources of energy that we all hope to enjoy some day. Many of these alternatives are expensive and prove to be impractical after analysis. However, in some cases they provide a real benefits. A good example is what has happened with the benefits of fracking of shale. This has created an inexpensive alternative to importing oil from the Middle East. In addition, it has provided many high-paying jobs.
We can now visualize the day when we will be energy exporters and not energy importers. Without the necessary tax incentives, these companies would have looked elsewhere for energy, and our country would not have enjoyed the benefits we have received.
Mike Convey, Longboat Key
Accusations fly in Pier fight | March 9
Pier choice is clear
Money can't buy love, but can it buy an election? Can it force a vote costing St. Petersburg a few hundred thousand dollars? All to vote on stopping a project while offering no alternatives?
I feel we have voted. We had a task force, a worldwide competition and we elected our city officials. The choice is clear. If the opposition is so strong, where are the previous petition signers and why did they have to hire a firm from California to help them get more signatures?
Many months and years have passed and decisions have been made. Money has been spent. Let's not stop the progress we have made and cost our taxpayers more. Let's move forward with the new St. Petersburg pier.
Environmentally, more sunlight on the bay will promote more sea grass growth, thus helping clean and filter the water and attract more marine life.
The new pier will also require fewer subsidies. And the design enhances our unique waterfront.
Shirley O'Sullivan, St. Petersburg