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
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
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