The perils of health care for profit | May 8, letters
Government would offer inept care
Those who think that the WellCare case proves that only the government should hold insurance money should remember the Pentagon's $900 hammers and $1,500 toilet seats.
Remember that fraud, waste and abuse are widespread in Medicaid and Medicare. Remember that the state's Citizen's Property Insurance Corp. has too little money to pay out for a hurricane and is mismanaged. Remember that Social Security and Medicare have a multi-trillion-dollar unfunded liability and Medicare will soon resort to rationing to make ends meet. Government programs should be reserved for the poor.
The answer is to put $1,000-$10,000 annually for routine annual health care in the hands of individual patients through tax-free health savings accounts. HSA holders now have lower insurance premiums, better care and improved wellness. Their insurance backs them 100 percent for catastrophic medical events that occur rarely.
When individuals control the money (not government and corporations), hospitals and doctors must justify the need and cost of a medical service to them. Individual ownership of health care dollars truly controls costs and restores trust in health care financing.
David McKalip, M.D., St. Petersburg
Too many are denied
The Republicans are already getting ready to attack Obama's health care legislation before it has been brought to Congress (GOP readies to attack health care bill, May 8).
They claim it will deny people treatments they need and make them wait to get the treatments they need. This is 20-year-old rhetoric.
I guess insurance companies today do not deny coverage for certain treatments or drugs, or make you wait for the decision of their denial. This is exactly why the Republican base is declining: These old ideas are not in touch with today's realities.
Let's work together for a national health care plan because more than 45 million Americans do not even have the privilege of any denial — they simply do not have any insurance.
These people are waiting for the national plan, so they can get treatments they need, but are being denied because of the greed and profits of the present system and decades-old politics.
James Demmy, Kenneth City
Trip to concert goes on Fla. tab | May 7, story
is just an official waste
This article demonstrates a complete waste of taxpayer money. Will someone please explain to me:
1) Why we need a lieutenant governor?
2) Why we taxpayers must foot the bill for these excursions?
3) And most important: Why in the world does this man and his family need security 24/7?
I didn't even know who he was until I read about where my tax dollars are going. Another example of good ol' government waste!
Lynda Barrett, Largo
Trip to concert goes on Fla. tab | May 7, story
Breach of security
If Florida law requires that Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp has Highway Patrol security protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week, why was the assigned state trooper sleeping? He is supposed to be providing 24-hour-a-day security.
Len Wilson, St. Petersburg
Extreme accusations | May 4, letter
More fear than facts
In criticizing a call for gun control, the letter writer compares gun ownership to car ownership. He states, "Saying that guns kill is like saying that cars kill so let's abolish them." Aside from the obvious — that very few people point their car at someone with an intent to kill — let's examine that comparison.
To buy a car — new or used — you must prove you have the proper insurance, and you must pay a fee and register that car with the state. There's not a car on the road that does not have its serial number, along with the name and address of its registered owner, on file and immediately accessible by law enforcement.
The letter writer continues, "Regulation is always the first step toward confiscation." Going back to his own analogy, car ownership has been regulated for as long as I can remember. To date, no one has tried to confiscate my car.
In short, his comparison of car ownership to gun ownership is long on fear-mongering and short on facts — exactly the sort of smoke blown by the very media personalities he's defending.
Robert Sterling, St. Petersburg
Rush, I'm just not that into you | May 8, Connie Schultz column
I found it interesting and thought-provoking that the less-than-loving column on Rush Limbaugh by the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Connie Schultz appeared just below the St. Petersburg Times' own master of mean speech, Daniel Ruth.
Just where is the line crossed from the sardonic to the vitriolic? One can find prickly print coming from both sides. Do you want it from wordsmiths Garrison Keillor or George Will? Do you want video with your opinions? Keith Olberman or Bill O'Reilly should suit your taste.
Schultz and Limbaugh have used words that would not make them members in good standing of the choir. However, it is a wonderful country where opinions can be so freely expressed. Thank God that we have the freedom to read and hear from both sides!
Kenn Sidorewich, Oldsmar
No one of sane mind would consider any type of torture, unless … extenuating circumstances prevailed.
Let us say that we could go back in time and we had captured the "noncombatants" who were subjected to waterboarding prior to 9/11. Again, let us say that they had information that would have allowed us to prevent the events of that day.
I wonder how many hands, in retrospect, would have reached up from the ruins in New York City, Washington, D.C., or the field in Pennsylvania to turn off the faucet?
Dennis Condon, Palm Harbor
National Day of Prayer
I went to the National Day of Prayer meeting at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater Thursday. Thousands of people were there, including 50 church leaders from many different denominations.
There was a great choir and lots of praying. It was great. There must not have been anyone there from the Times as I did not see a word in the Friday paper about it. I did see headlines of many murders and more political deception, some bad financial news but nothing on the prayer meeting.
Millions of people all over the country were praying for the country and its leaders and your newspaper could not mention it.
Jeffrey G. Mikres, Palm Harbor
The price is too high
I have been exposed to the St. Petersburg Times for nearly 50 years. Historically, you have always stood for moral and ethical values and "just to tell the truth." In recent years, have you abandoned your core support for good citizenship?
You seem "hell bent" on expanding gambling in Florida, though you know the lottery has been an utter failure in generating improved education. It has been well documented that gambling is a liability rather than an asset to a community, feeding in large measure on the young, the poor, the ignorant and increasing the crime rate.
It will profit us nothing to sell our souls for such a pittance of dollars. Education is a worthy product deserving of our hard-earned tax dollars.
Henry L. King, Clearwater
After months of observing so many inconsiderate, rude and sloppy drivers who refuse to appropriately use their directional signals, I believe that a crackdown by police might be in order.
In addition, such "cracking down" with the appropriate tickets and fines might be of great assistance in reducing some of the current governmental budget deficits. Just a thought .
Stephen B. Sasz, Sun City Center