Health care reform
A big step in the right direction
As a retired RN, I have waited many years to see our health care system reformed to cover all our citizens. We are now closer than ever to finally getting some form of secure coverage for all Americans and to get some control on our ever-escalating health care premiums.
A big thanks to all our members of Congress who voted for this legislation.
Those who did not vote in favor of this legislation are obviously caving in to the insurance lobbyists that are working so hard to get this defeated. I hope that we will all remember their names in the upcoming elections.
Karen Graves, Palm Harbor
Heading the wrong way
Is anyone paying attention to what is going on with our so-called leaders in Washington? We're in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and they have spent months trying to find ways to make health insurance available to more people instead of focusing on the real problem.
Jobs continue to be lost at a record pace and the president's own economic advisers say the stimulus won't be helping much more. What in the world is going on? Does anyone believe this is the right direction for America? We can do better!
Bob Borland, Palm Harbor
Health care reform
It's time our nation ended the suffering
As the pastor of St. John Presbyterian Church I am greeted each morning by a full parking lot and lines of people waiting for the Judeo Christian Health Clinic to open its doors. It is where the working people of Hillsborough County come when they desperately need heath care and they have no insurance.
The scene that greets me each morning is not pretty. The stories that can be shared by each desperate potential patient are heart-moving, heartbreaking. Perhaps, if God is willing and Congress completes its job, this travesty of human suffering will soon end.
I cannot thank our congressional representative, Kathy Castor, enough for what she has done to move this process forward. My prayers and my very heart go out to her.
Earl Smith, Tampa
System needs repair
I am a 59-year-old citizen and am very disappointed in my congressman in this district for not voting for the historic bill which was passed by the U.S. House on Saturday, H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. I am concerned about his concern for his constituents.
I am a small business owner and I have a small group health care policy for my business. I personally pay a monthly bill of $747 for 2009. After I renew this policy in December I will be paying $947 for 2010.
As a small business owner I feel that we must fix our health care system. If we do not, the only businesses that will be able to remain open will be large corporations. The Affordable Health Care for America Act is a start — not perfect, but a start. Rep. C.W. Bill Young should vote for this bill when it comes before the House again. We need his help and concern.
Joan Mason, St. Petersburg
Health care reform
Going too far
With nearly every Republican and a significant number of Democrats and independents against the health care reform package, you would think that might give those supporting it reason to take pause. The opponents might just have some valid positions.
In my view, it just goes too far, turns the system upside down, and the dollars are unbelievable. A trillion! And this, on top of all the other hundreds of billions of dollars currently flowing (and more to come). It is not just a matter of fiscal overspending, but fiscal insanity.
There are many places to agree or disagree in the proposed legislation, but one thing is sure — it mortgages our future and our descendants' future. It will change the future in so many ways, not just health care, including taxation in a big way.
With the government taking a hugely larger percentage of earnings, you can imagine what that does to the future expansion of our capitalist society. I do not think all our legislators are thinking that deeply as to what they are doing.
Raymond Hetterich, Seminole
Pass reform this year
I am a conservative Republican and I want Congress to pass health insurance reform this year. Republicans and Democrats should get together and pass a responsible plan that will help everyone purchase health insurance from any company, across state lines. Emergency rooms in my county should not be the health care of choice for people unable to purchase insurance.
Jimmie Barnes, Homosassa
House passes health reform | Nov. 8, story
Support is overlooked
In your story about health care reform, Rep. Mike Bilirakis is quoted as saying "five out of five of my constituents oppose the plan."
This implies 100 percent don't support reform when this is indeed not the fact. I live in Bilirakis' district and I support health care reform as my family has been a victim of abusive health care company practices several times in the past.
My wife is a diabetic, a "pre-existing condition." The company I work for does not offer insurance, and she can't get coverage individually. My premiums have gone up an average of 17 percent for the past 10 years. Health care costs me well over $20,000 per year.
I think this is another case where the silent majority doesn't make as much noise as the "affected" minority.
Richard Cavalieri, Tampa
Not getting the message
My U.S. House representative is Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor. He was quoted in Sunday's St. Petersburg Times concerning the House passage of health care reform as saying his office phones have been ringing all day and "five out of five of my constituents oppose the plan."
In our household two out of two called his office Saturday in support of the health care bill. Perhaps Rep. Bilirakis is not getting all of the messages his constituents are trying to send him.
Joe Whetstone, Valrico
Lawmaker is no help
I am one of the estimated 45 million Americans who do not have health insurance. I am among those that insurance companies have refused to sell a policy to because of "pre-existing conditions." Quite frankly, it is difficult to get to age 48 without "pre-existing conditions." So, despite seeking policies with $10,000-plus deductibles costing in excess of $500 per month, I am still among the uninsured. And because I am self-employed, I do not have a pool within which to mix my pre-existing conditions.
So, with that I'd like to give a great big "thanks for nothing" to my congressional representative, Ginny Brown-Waite. Clearly she is out of touch with the needs of her constituents, especially those below the age of Medicare eligibility.
Colleen Kasperek, Esq., Spring Hill