Get politics out of health care debate
Tell me, what are the politics of cancer? What are the politics of leukemia, of diabetes, of autism, of dementia? What are the politics of a very sick child? When your child is stricken you cease to be whatever political stripe you blather to be. You become just a human who wants a well child and hopefully, when it's over, a house left to raise him in.
The politics of this health care debate are sickening. The free market conservatives seem to believe that life and health belong only to those who can afford it. If you're not rich, too bad. You get sickness, bankruptcy and early death under their plan. The real scare of "socialized" medicine to them is that working people might have access to the health they deserve, to work hard and keep this country great working for companies not strapped with astronomical health care costs.
Our so-called leaders have to get the fear and politics out of the health care debate or we have to get them out of office. Once they're back home where they belong, let them try to find some affordable health care. They actually might, after our sensible leaders get us a good single-payer plan.
Michael Blowers, Largo
Something has to change in how we handle health care
While we may disagree on what to do, most Americans know we need to change the way we offer medical care services in this country. We need to include all Americans and reduce the escalating price tag that goes along with it.
According to Howard Troxler's column (The $140 Q-tip and other matters, July 28) most people are leery of "an expanded government role" in the health care business. I guess this is because of perceived waste and incompetence of a government bureaucracy. But can a government that can launch a network of spy satellites capable of real-time surveillance 24 hours a day, anywhere in the world (without the knowledge of the people), be deemed as incompetent? Hardly.
Also in Troxler's column, most people seem to agree that whatever this Congress creates for health care, it should be the exact medical plan for all of Congress. Any extras should be paid for out of pocket by said members of Congress and not the taxpayer. In this case, peer pressure is a wonderful thing. If future members of Congress do not like the plan, they can always adjust it, so long as it applies to all Americans.
Bill Brasfield, St. Petersburg
Gang of 5 could remake health care | July 27, David Broder column
A way to curb costs
Despite the objection by David Broder to an unelected group of commissioners serving as an "Independent Medicare Advisory Council," to me it appears to be an answer to the terrible waste that is brought about by doctors, pharmaceutical suppliers and hospitals. We hear constantly about unnecessary or repetitive procedures by doctors. We who use medicines know by experience how recklessly the pharmaceutical companies charge us (under the guise of "future research"). We see how hospitals charge, e.g. $5 for an aspirin, and so much more.
To me this proposed IMAC could be the agency to bring these dreadfully overcharged charges to the fore and by so doing, if successful, bringing the deficit down by billions of dollars.
Bea Donis, Tampa
What's the standard?
What is going on with our justice system as it relates to fatal traffic accidents? One teen is sentenced to 30 years in an auto accident involving death. Another who runs away from an auto accident involving a death is likely going to get probation, and now another teen may be charged with third-degree murder.
I understand that each of these situations has specifics that differ and that all are serious breaches of the law, but is there a standard for the charges and pursuit of the person who causes this type of accident?
Young Nick Bollea was on newspaper front pages for months as his tragic accident wound its way through the courts. He ultimately went to prison.
There has to be a standard that should be followed, but it's not evident from the charges that have been filed in these cases, nor in what happens to each teen who caused the accidents.
What is that standard? Why are they not all treated equally under the law as they should be?
Virginia Lazar, St. Petersburg
Our deadly addiction | July 23, Maureen Dowd column
Just be responsible
I'm amazed by Maureen Dowd's thoughts in writing this piece and by the St. Petersburg Times' paying any attention at all.
First this loony tune tells us that while driving and using her cell phone she hits someone, and then, drives and uses her cell phone again! Wasn't the accident, which she claims she took responsibility for, enough? She chronicles all kinds of bad things happening while people are engaged in this activity and demands that stronger laws be put in place to punish the people doing so (like herself?). But the real crux is her typical, "progressive," moral-relativistic attitude that actually disavows her obligation to do the right, intelligent thing.
She actually blames the technology. How typical is that? She calls this industry drug pushers. Of course, they're trying to hawk their wares — but, Maureen, honey, you don't have to buy or use. Was some technocrat holding a gun to your temple at the time of the accident or any time thereafter? What kind of mentality permeates American society today?
Jeanne Hahm, Largo
Our deadly addiction | July 23, Maureen Dowd column
Thinking for two
Maureen Dowd hit the nail on the head when it comes to people driving a car who drift all over the road like brainless gnats because they are too busy blogging and texting about how another brainless idiot honked the horn when former brainless gnat cut him off after veering suddenly across three lanes when said gnat noticed a Starbucks that his GPS somehow missed.
Don't worry, idiot. When I see you on the road I'll do the thinking for both of us.
Michael Kreha, St. Petersburg
Career of honesty and good humor | July 28
Lucy Morgan's well-written column really captured the essence of Jim King. I did not know him well, but I still feel a personal loss.
He was always the class clown, and I do not think he would mind if I shared a personal note to me concerning legislation, in which he stated: "I kissed more fannies than a French gigolo to make sure that it would be passed and not vetoed."
Jim, you will be missed by so many.
Pat Ellis, St. Petersburg