Health care repeal
Health care law needs reforms
I am very pleased to see the immediate focus of Republicans on repealing and replacing the current health care law. Recent responses and questions during the debate on repeal in the House and in the House Judiciary Committee on medical liability reform made it clear that the Democrats are not interested in making any improvements to this very flawed bill. They overwhelmingly support the law the way it is, without medical liability reforms, promoting competitive pricing over state lines, or addressing the concerns about physician shortages.
Hopefully by now those who voted for the bill in 2010 have had time to read it entirely. Health care legislation is critically important to all of us and future generations. Why not have the few positives from this law come together in new legislation with the obvious improvements Republicans and many American citizens strongly support?
Real health care reform that is beneficial for America and all Americans may not be the political coup the Democrats seek by keeping the current law in place. Democrats in power know that if Republicans succeed in challenging the current law, many improvements could be made and future health care reform law would not be called "Obamacare." I prefer the term "Americacare."
K. Evans, Lithia
Health care repeal
Left out in the cold
Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 promising a comprehensive health care reform. He got elected and made good on his promise. Now, 26 states are suing to get the health laws repealed.
If this succeeds, once again the uninsured, the poorly insured, the ones with pre-existing conditions will be left out in the cold. A staggering 50 million people will be stabbed in the back by heartless politicians — politicians who by the way enjoy very good health insurance. It is a sad day in America when a political agenda trumps common sense, but then again, what else is new?
Patrick Bauer, Land O'Lakes
Move beyond symbolism
The GOP-controlled House of 2011 is off to a running start with a vote to repeal the health care law, a law most people want and one that will benefit most Americans.
It's being called a "mostly symbolic" vote, because it has little chance of passing the Senate. That is hardly what this country needs: symbolic votes to proudly display partisanship.
The House leaders took the pulse of the American people and determined that what we all really want is time-wasting partisanship and gridlock. Pretend time is over. Get after some real issues and challenges and start working on getting some meaningful results.
Jeff Cutting, Brandon
Bigger not always better
Two news items about the military and veterans serve to highlight a government that is too big and too unaccountable.
First, a presidential commission has recommended freezing basic military pay and housing allowances for three years starting in 2011, saving the federal government $7.6 billion in compensation and $1.6 billion in retirement accrual.
At the same time, an inspector general's report says the Defense Department cannot account for $8.7 billion received from the sale of Iraqi oil and other revenue streams.
I am a veteran, and I think it is unconscionable to discuss freezing the pay of active-duty military personnel while tens of billions go unaccounted for or are just plain wasted.
This is a microcosm of what happens in many departments in Washington and at the state and local level all too often.
Government on every level needs to be smaller, more accountable and closer to the people it represents. Bigger is not always better.
K.L. Blikken, St. Petersburg
Amy Chua is a wimp | Jan. 19, commentary
Don't take easy way out
I have to agree with David Brooks. Not allowing your children to participate in social activities is the easy way out. It's easy to say a blanket "no" to everything they want to do. As a parent, the hardest thing I ever had to do was say "yes" to that first play date at friend's house, or the sleepover where I didn't know every child attending, or the school dance or first date.
While saying no saves me the angst of letting my children out into the world, it behooves my child not. The social skills learned from an early age are essential.
While saying yes doesn't make me any less vigilant, it does make the final destination — off to college — a bit easier to bear. You hope you raise your children to make good decisions when faced with them on their own. How can they learn to do so if never given the opportunity?
Linda Magid, Lutz
Sanctimonious is how a recent letter writer referred to people who oppose casino gambling. I personally oppose casino gambling and certainly don't consider myself pious or "holier than thou."
The writer is adamant that casinos will increase employment. I disagree. Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City all have unemployment rates way above the national average.
Casino gambling is a luxury, and as with most luxuries, it's one of the first things to suffer when an economy slows. We need sustainable industry, not more low-paying service-based businesses.
Derek Roberts, Clearwater
The end of an era
This letter is to inform the baby boomers that their services will no longer be needed. Their achievements have been great — bringing us hippies and pot, the ability to tell off "the man" and managing to run a stable society despite their elders telling them it would never work.
However, since around 2000, they've become increasingly lame, loud and cranky. And while that stubbornness was once appreciated as strong determination, they have lacked the ability to change and adapt their attitudes to fit the circumstances. Not to mention that they completely dropped the ball with the economy.
We have decided to take this society in a different direction, and flexibility and the willingness to listen to others will be crucial.
Oh, and thanks for the Internet.
Savannah Clark, St. Petersburg