The law stands | June 29
Turning corner to a better place
On Thursday, America turned a giant corner toward a destination where everybody has access to quality, affordable health care. Obamacare will eventually be mentioned alongside women's suffrage, the New Deal and the Civil Rights Act as a benchmark of a mature and moral society.
Of those who yell, curse and forecast economic collapse, most surely already have the dignity of affordable care or have never felt the unfairness of having a chronic disease and being unable to get insurance.
Health care is a moral right and an absolute good. The Affordable Care Act is an imperfect law, but it's a good start.
Kurt Steinmann, Belleair
The law stands | June 29
Mitt Romney is being hypocritical when he contends that the Affordable Care Act is bad policy and bad law. In fact, Romney signed a similar law as governor of Massachusetts. The individual mandate Romney opposes now was included in his law, which fines people who are able to buy insurance but choose not to.
Romney stated at the time that the state law would contain health care costs and that it was a "matter of personal responsibility." So what was good for the citizens of Massachusetts is not good for the rest of the country? This is just another example of Romney setting policy according to which way the wind blows.
Deborah Green, Sun City Center
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is deeply disturbing. By compelling citizens to purchase insurance or face the penalty tax, the court did a great injustice to the personal freedom of every American.
The court not only forced Americans to pay $500 billion in new taxes, but set a benchmark for future government control of our personal lives. The idea that the government can force any Orwellian agenda upon its citizens through a "tax" is even more disturbing than Obamacare itself.
Margaret Beck, St. Petersburg
Tax by any other name
The legal argument that the mandate was unconstitutional was weak at best. Governments at the federal, state and local level mandate many things. To have this mandate overturned would have been shocking.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi being shocked over the outcome is concerning. Even more concerning, but not surprising, are her additional comments that "this is a tax on the American people and that's how it was upheld." Republicans have disguised increases of taxes by calling them fees, fines, penalties — any word they can come up so that they avoid the "T" word. In reality, all monies collected by governments are taxes.
Now that she has lost her case, it's up to her to make sure the health care law is implemented in Florida. This taxpayer would like to know how much taxpayer money was wasted on her case against the health care law.
Jim Steinle, Clearwater
Impact on auto insurance
Whatever you think of the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court's decision has ended the excuse for personal injury protection required under Florida's no-fault automobile insurance law.
The rationale for PIP was that some drivers do not have health insurance, but that excuse is no longer valid when everyone is required by law to have health insurance.
The Florida Legislature should put ending PIP first on its agenda in the next session.
Joe Gaston, Tampa
Time to govern
In all the emotional statements by our Republican governor, senator and attorney general after the Supreme Court ruling, I have searched in vain for the one thing I would expect from our leadership. That is: a simple statement that, agree with the ruling or not, we will work to efficiently abide by the law of the land in the best way possible for the people of Florida whom we represent.
That is the difference between governing and campaigning.
Bill Baird, St. Petersburg
Republicans like much of what's in 'Obamacare' | June 28, commentary
Improve the system
Thank you for the enlightening statistics on the percentage of Republicans who like individual components of Obamacare. With 77 percent of Americans wanting health care reform of some kind, and a majority of Republicans and independents supporting most of the main components of the health care law that is now upheld, isn't it time for all politicians to move forward?
Rather than wasting taxpayer time and money on continuing to try to repeal Obamacare, it is time to work for the people and introduce some additional legislation to improve health care coverage and lower costs. There are many improvements that can be made, and this would be a way for senators and congressmen to make a name for themselves and their party.
If Mitt Romney wins and tries to repeal Obamacare, what is he replacing it with? It was modeled after Romneycare. It is time to move forward and work to improve health care.
Cheryl Colvin, Odessa
Health reforms show compassion June 28, letter
For a caring society
This letter goes to the heart of what health care reform means: What kind of society are we? Consider this: When your house is on fire, the fire department comes to your aid, likewise the police if someone is robbing your home. If you are accused of a crime and can't afford an attorney, you are assigned a public defender to represent you. But if you get sick and you don't have money: Tough luck, you're on your own. It is high time this is changed.
Eileen Flaxman, Wimauma