Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Industrious Americans also left wanting

A pre-existing plea for good care for all | July 5, commentary

Living in the shadows of greed

Thank you for Tyler Hudson's opinion piece regarding the real problem many middle class citizens face because of insurance companies' refusal to cover pre-existing health conditions. Many critics of the Affordable Care Act try to convince listeners that it is only a contrivance of the Obama administration to aid the poor, the immigrants and others they want us to believe are a drain on society.

I am a member of the self-employed, productive middle class. My wife has a master's degree from one of the finest art colleges in the country. She has always been self-employed. She has never been able to afford the high cost of individual health care premiums. Seven years ago, before we were married, she discovered she had a life-threatening disease most likely caused by the negligence of a hospital 20 years before. The only recourse for treatment was through the community health care facilities of Pinellas County. Thankfully, like Hudson, her illness is in remission but always subject to possible recurrence.

We have estimated that through private care the cost of her treatment would have been $100,000-plus. Now that we are together we could afford insurance, but of course we cannot obtain it. If her illness resurfaces, I will bankrupt myself to get the necessary care.

So, to the critics of "Obama-Romney Care" I say walk in the shoes of Tyler Hudson, my wife and millions of industrious Americans who live in the dark shadows of the greed of the insurance conglomerates before you scream about the imagined trauma you will suffer when it becomes the law of the land.

Arthur Eggers, Tampa

Coherent alternative to Obamacare exists July 5, David Brooks column

A cynical, dark plan

David Brooks' essay is breathtaking in both its cynicism and its deception. He lays out a plan authored by James Capretta and Robert Moffit as based on Republican principles, and with a wink claims Mitt Romney is behind it but won't espouse it.

The plan boils down to an even more cynical version of Paul Ryan's 2012 budget proposal. Destroy Obamacare and simultaneously change Medicare to a voucher system. This is the Republican love that dares not say its name. Tax credits replace insurance. Americans should be "encouraged" to buy insurance, as if that coda would have any effect on Americans' buying insurance, even if they could afford it. And then comes the nexus of the "argument": "This approach would replace Medicare's cost burden with a defined contribution structure," more commonly known as a voucher.

So the Republican plan to end Obamacare is to destroy Medicare and Medicaid. Forget the 50 million uninsured — the Republicans want to double down and make it more equitable. They'd destroy everyone's insurance to save our freedom to be morally as well as physically bankrupt.

Thomas Hayes, Dunedin

Prescription for decline | July 2, commentary

Extremely valuable product

I would like to question a major underlying assumption in Will Marshall's piece that comes up in most health care system analyses, namely that regardless of how well or inefficiently money is spent, it is somehow inherently disastrous that health care costs are an increasing percentage of GDP.

So what? Why is keeping as many Americans as possible progressively healthier less valuable an economic activity than anything else? A strong economy doesn't care what specifically is produced and consumed in it. Would you rather have more consumer electronics in return for more people dying or living with physical suffering? We feed, clothe and house ourselves relatively well. After that what could be more important than health?

Remember, health care won't be expensive forever. Medical science is advancing at an accelerating rate. We will reach a tipping point of understanding relatively soon where we can expect medical costs to plummet. Agriculture went from accounting for most of GDP to a couple of percent by the end of the 20th century. In the meantime we all get sick. Isn't the fundamental point of civilization to solve problems that we all share?

R.H. Clark, Tampa

Weeny bit of smashing news July 6, Daniel Ruth column

Morsel of insight

Thanks for presenting at least a layman's humorous coverage of this magnificent event. But I must quibble with one point. The reason that the Higgs boson is often called "the God particle" is not because scientists think it is the key to the understanding of physical reality and therefore of God, but for a much more mundane reason. According to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon M. Lederman, author of the 1993 popular science book The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What is the Question?, his "publisher wouldn't let us call it the G--d--- Particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing." So for purely commercial reasons, the publisher shortened the term to the God particle!

Shirley Copperman, Tarpon Springs

Voter purge

Enforce the laws

Why is it that any time officials, Gov. Rick Scott in this case, try to enforce laws on voting, immigration, securing public assistance and so on, certain people cry out with claims of discrimination, voter suppression, ad nauseam? One would think citizens would support the enforcement of our laws. Detractors continue to point to small percentages of those on the list who are illegally registered. Do percentages really matter? My feeling is that if just one name on the list is illegal it is worth the effort.

Regarding faulty lists of potential illegal registrants in Florida, if the Department of Justice had provided the data Scott requested, the state would not have needed to use info from the DMV. Even so, it is insulting to legitimate voters to assume that they are not able or willing to verify their eligibility to vote. Ditto for certain individuals' not being able to provide a photo ID at the polls, since this is a document required for many of the daily transactions we all conduct.

We, the people, need to wake up and demand that our standards be upheld and our laws enforced!

Marilyn Renner, Dunedin


Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18