Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Vote to expand health coverage

Profits over charity care at Bayfront | May 6, editorial

Vote to expand health coverage

Kudos to Bayfront Medical Center for flourishing at the expense of the St. Petersburg locals who are most in need as public funds for uncompensated hospital care is set to expire. This is more reason why expanding Medicaid in Florida and closing the health care gap is critical. Can hospitals like St. Anthony's continue to provide an escalating proportion of charity care, while our legislators turn back $51 billion of Florida's earmarked federal tax dollars to cover our working poor families? Probably not.

For four consecutive sessions, the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott have failed to accept federal dollars to provide coverage to nearly 600,000 people. That's uninsured moms and dads, veterans and others who make too much money through work to qualify for Medicaid, but too little money to qualify for a federal subsidy to purchase health care insurance on their own.

What an irony that our governor has sued the federal government over the expiration of the uncompensated care funds, while defiantly refusing to accept the $51 billion to close the gap in health care coverage and pay for that same uncompensated care. Floridians have already paid those dollars and deserve that money back. Accepting that money would have reverberating positive impacts to our economy, boosting Florida jobs by nearly 120,000, increasing reimbursements to health care providers, and ensuring that uncompensated care is covered. Without the money, hospitals will not be able to survive; people without insurance will get sick and many will die.

This year, our elected officials face the impact of redistricting and will now have to run in districts that more fairly represent the people they serve. This gives us an unprecedented opportunity to hold our legislators accountable, to help struggling workers, families, and the uninsured. Cast your vote and hold them accountable to health care expansion in our state.

Dr. Julie Kessel, St. Petersburg

The author is the president of the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area, and the State League Regional Health Care Chair. She is also a Florida-trained physician and senior medical insurance executive with more than 20 years of clinical and industry experience.

Jeb Bush won't vote for Trump | May 7

Poor losers

Seems to me the Bush boys are poor losers. How can they claim to be Republicans when they won't support the Republican whom the majority of voters have selected? I'm sure there are some Republicans, myself included, who may be a bit unsure if Donald Trump is the best candidate the party could put forward, but he is the candidate that the majority want so I will support and vote for him. He may not be as conservative as some seem to believe based on his past doings, but people and their beliefs often change as they mature. For example, I had been a Democrat for over 40 years until in the early 1990s when I realized the Democratic Party was somewhat more socialistic in its views than I had become so I switched to the Republican Party. Considering Hillary Clinton's thinking and especially Sen. Bernie Sanders' views, I can't see how any Republican could not vote for Trump.

Edward Raciborski, Tampa

Where GOP stands on Trump | May 12

The politics of apathy

People really do have a reason to be upset about how messed up our government has become. But we allowed it to happen.

A lot of people seem to think that they can just vote for a candidate and resolve all our problems. Unfortunately, that's not the case. If elected, Donald Trump will be just as hamstrung as President Barack Obama, prevented from doing anything that the Republican-dominated Congress doesn't want.

Citizens in other countries have stood up to their governments in spite of the prospect of being killed or imprisoned. Maybe it's time we stand up and say enough! So, people, let's get off our duffs and start paying as much attention to our government as we do our sports teams and celebrities. Otherwise, it will never change.

David Duff, Pinellas Park

Gov. Scott warns Congress on Zika | May 12

Zika, sea level rise and facts

So Gov. Rick Scott is worried about Zika, saying, "… we're talking about people's lives. ... Florida is going to be the epicenter, so we need to deal with it right now."

Where is he getting his information? When it comes to climate change, he's more than happy to say he's not a scientist. If it's the empirical evidence of Zika cases in Florida, why not pay attention to the empirical evidence of Miami flooding and the rise in sea level that has already happened?

He wants the lawmakers to stop playing politics over Zika. There are lot of Florida folks who would like Scott to stop playing politics over climate change. Now that he is upset over Zika politics, maybe he understands why people are upset with his politics on climate change. Can he say the words "sea level rise" instead of his "nuisance flooding" phrase?

Russ A. Johnson, Hudson

Mother to sue over death in stolen car | May 11

Taking responsibility

The mother of one of the teenage girls who drowned in a stolen car is going to sue the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, saying they are responsible for her death? The girls were 15 and 16 years old, with previous arrest records. They stole a vehicle, didn't obey police orders when they put on their lights, and it's the sheriff's responsibility? When is it the parents' responsibility?

I think those parents should be held responsible for not knowing where their minor children were and allowing them out all night. They have full responsibility. Maybe if there were consequences, parents might raise their children, making sure they attend school and do their homework, and participate more in their lives.

Jan Soderlund, Seminole


Tuesday’s letters: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Nobody is scaring birds with fireworks | Editorial, July 16Leave fireworksto the professionalsThe situation with fireworks has gotten completely out of control. I was at Curtis Hixon Park on the Fourth of July, and numerous people were exploding ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18

Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/16/18

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let’s prepare Florida’s next generation for the jobs that have been created yet

Make Florida’s workforce globally competitivePrepare for jobs not yet createdIf you aren’t amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop c...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/11/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for July 13

Re: School meals for all students | July 6 storyParents should pay for their ownThat article really got me to thinking ... why can’t parents feed and care for their own children? When did it become others’ responsibility to do this? No one fed our th...
Published: 07/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: It’s great that Tampa’s Democratic mayor works with a Republican governor

Dems wary of Scott, Buckhorn bromance | July 8It’s not partisan to look out for TampaThe focus of a mayor should be on success in his jurisdiction, no matter the partner, for the citizens who live in his area of responsibility. Mayor Bob Buckhorn...
Published: 07/06/18
Updated: 07/10/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for July 13

Scaring birds with fireworks is a problemThe justification of buying fireworks to scare birds is the biggest problem with fireworks. My wife and I retired to a small pond across from a nature preserve. On a recent holiday, we were enjoying watching b...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18

Monday’s letters: Let’s keep plastics out of the ocean now

Is a ban on plastic straws a step too far? | July 4 Plastic in oceanis not fantastic As a Tampa Bay native, I am thrilled to see a concerted effort to eliminate plastics pollution in the area, and encouraged to see small business and restaurant ow...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18