Friday, July 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Renew funding for youth health care

Children's Health Insurance Program

Renew children's insurance fund

As a pediatrician in training, I have seen how essential the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, is in keeping our nation's children healthy. Yet Congress missed the Sept. 30 deadline to extend CHIP funding, and now 9 million children are at risk of losing insurance. That is why I stand with the American Academy of Pediatrics in urging Congress to extend CHIP funding for five years immediately.

CHIP, known as KidCare in Florida, is a federally funded program that provides affordable, high-quality health care coverage to children across the country. Nearly 375,000 Floridian children rely on CHIP because their families do not qualify for Medicaid but also do not earn enough to buy private health insurance.

Since CHIP was enacted 20 years ago, the share of uninsured children nationally has been cut in half. In Florida, health insurance coverage for children is at an all-time high of 93 percent.

As a former mathematics teacher in a low-income neighborhood, I witnessed firsthand the effects of inadequate health coverage on my students. Many missed school due to their own illnesses or injuries, and often needed to stay at home to care for an ill younger sibling because their parents could not afford to miss work. Parents had to decide between buying groceries or picking up the prescription given to them by the emergency department for their child's ear infection or sore throat.

Because of CHIP, my students could get routine checkups and sick visits, immunizations, affordable prescriptions, diagnostic testing, in-patient medical and surgical care, dental and vision care, mental health services, and the list goes on.

I thank Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., for co-sponsoring the Keep Kids' Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act of 2017 to extend CHIP funding for five more years, and I urge Sen. Marco Rubio to join him.

Dr. Saira Ahmed, Bethesda, Md.

The writer, a second-year pediatrics resident, grew up in Belleair Beach.

Las Vegas massacre

Seize killer's wealth

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre, all our thoughts are on the "why" — which we may never know. The issue of the NRA and weapons possession is another issue for our politicians to struggle with.

All our hearts ache for the victims. I think that the wealth of this reported multimillionaire — every penny of it — should go to the injured victims who will need financial support for their medical and emotional recovery and to the families of those he killed. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

Patricia Knees, Sun City Center

Problem with large events

After the heinous act of a radicalized serial shooter in Las Vegas, we will hear many politicians offer prayer, condolences and deepest thoughts for the victims. That is well and good, but we need legislative action to bring the sale of assault weapons under control. Recent history tells us we will not see any such action.

In absence of gun control, it is time to rethink how we live in this society. The victims and survivors alike were cordoned into a concert by temporary fences — caged if you will. This circumstance made shooting them easier and rescuing the injured much more difficult. I ask our local and state leaders to immediately ban the caging in of our citizens at local concerts such as those periodically at Straub Park in St. Petersburg or Coachman Park in Clearwater.

The NRA will not come after our leaders for such actions, and thus they may find the courage or spinal column to act on simple legislation like this. Then we can start talking about how to prevent large gatherings of more sitting ducks, like stadium sporting events. Sure, there will be repercussions for such legislation. What concert organizer would want to organize a concert with "open boundaries"? But such are the costs living in a society without the ability to control instruments of mass casualty simply because industry leaders are unwilling to sacrifice the profits they make from them and because politicians fail to honor the 2nd Amendment's requisite of a "well-regulated" militia.

Brad Rosenheim, St. Petersburg

Restrictions have support

As a former hunter and member of the NRA, I say that today is the day to discuss legitimate firearms restrictions. It is time for the NRA and our elected representative to stop making excuses about the purported evils of gun registration and restrictions.

The Second Amendment was not approved by the Founders so that all Americans could have the use of any class of firearm they desired, whenever and wherever they wished. (The murderer in Las Vegas could probably have defeated the Continental Army single-handedly with his cache of killing machines.) Requiring background checks for gun sales is not aimed at building a shadowy governmental database to spy on all gun owners and eventually seize all their guns. Semiautomatic and automatic rifles are not hunting tools; they were developed for war and are strictly people-killers.

A vast number of NRA members approve of legitimate gun restrictions.

Arthur N. Eggers, Tampa


Friday’s letters: Trump’s excuses about Helsinki

Trump got tripped up | July 18 A dangerous mix-up for a president President Donald Trump would have us believe that he misspoke when he stood on the world stage with Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressed belief in Putin rather than the un...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Watch what Trump does ... and what he says

Trump sides with Putinover U.S.A. | Editorial, July 17 Watch what he does — and what he says, too Anyone who still takes issue with the allegation that Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president need only look at his shameful and ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Nobody is scaring birds with fireworks | Editorial, July 16Leave fireworksto the professionalsThe situation with fireworks has gotten completely out of control. I was at Curtis Hixon Park on the Fourth of July, and numerous people were exploding ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18

Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/16/18

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let’s prepare Florida’s next generation for the jobs that have been created yet

Make Florida’s workforce globally competitivePrepare for jobs not yet createdIf you aren’t amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop c...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/11/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for July 13

Re: School meals for all students | July 6 storyParents should pay for their ownThat article really got me to thinking ... why can’t parents feed and care for their own children? When did it become others’ responsibility to do this? No one fed our th...
Published: 07/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: It’s great that Tampa’s Democratic mayor works with a Republican governor

Dems wary of Scott, Buckhorn bromance | July 8It’s not partisan to look out for TampaThe focus of a mayor should be on success in his jurisdiction, no matter the partner, for the citizens who live in his area of responsibility. Mayor Bob Buckhorn...
Published: 07/06/18
Updated: 07/10/18