Saturday, February 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Scott should extend sympathy to those in coverage gap

Armstrong gets new health agency job | March 17

A pinched concept of compassion

After recently losing his job as Florida's surgeon general, Dr. John Armstrong was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to serve as deputy secretary for administrative services with the Department of Health. As a result, Armstrong, who has colon cancer and is on administrative leave, will remain on the payroll and receive state health benefits.

After the Legislature did not confirm Armstrong as surgeon general, the governor exhibited compassion by allowing him to retain employment and maintain his health care in his hour of need. Meanwhile, as many as 600,000 Floridians are left without access to care because of the state's decision not to close the coverage gap.

The Affordable Care Act calls on states to expand access to state-sponsored health coverage for individuals who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($16,240 for an individual and $33,465 for a family of four). For the past three years, Scott and the Legislature have rejected calls for closing the coverage gap, leaving low-income working Floridians without access to coverage or care.

This past session, legislation was introduced (SB 629 and HB 856) that would draw down more than $71 billion paid by Florida taxpayers to the federal government to effectively close the coverage gap. Neither bill was heard by a committee even once during the 60-day session.

Scott's compassion toward Armstrong as he battles a life-threatening illness is commendable. If only he and his colleagues in Tallahassee could extend the same compassion to hundreds of thousands of our neighbors stuck in the coverage gap, they too would have the opportunity to live healthy, productive lives.

LuMarie Polivka-West, Tallahassee

The writer serves on the board of directors of Florida CHAIN, a statewide consumer health advocacy organization.

Campaign 2016

Trump is only a symptom

Marco Rubio lamented Donald Trump's rise in spite of his bad behavior: "This year it seems to work, for reasons I don't fully understand." Rubio and the leaders of the Republican Party have got to understand that Trump is not the major problem. Republican leadership, especially the hateful, bickering, do-nothing Senate and House, is the problem.

Trump is a symptom of that problem. Polls show congressional approval ratings hovering around 12 percent. As Trump continually and more deeply embarrasses the party in the media, he still thrives. That, coupled with the polls, clearly shows the disdain for the Republican establishment. Don't blame Trump as the problem. Blame yourselves.

Steve Wilson, Safety Harbor

Signs of dictatorship

How to tell when you've got a dictatorship on your hands:

When the news media is silenced for doing its job.

When protesters are threatened and beaten.

When the new leadership encourages violence.

When the public ignores all of this and blindly accepts the lies they're told by those seeking power.

When will they ever learn?

Dennis Bush, Tampa

Bondi's backing renews questions | March 13

Backers angling for jobs

So Pam Bondi is backing Donald Trump. That makes three prominent backers. My prediction is that if Trump wins the general election, Bondi will be made attorney general, Chris Christie will be vice president and Sarah Palin will be Trump's choice for the Supreme Court.

Steve Wilson, Safety Harbor

A simple political equation

It's a simple, two-step process: (1) Donald Trump donates $25,000 to And Justice for All, Pam Bondi's political committee; (2) Bondi refuses to investigate $40 million worth of fraud complaints against Trump University.

It can't get much more straightforward than that. Unless, of course, you want to question Bondi's redefinition of "all."

Richard Downing, Hudson

Trump's campaign of fear, hate | March 15, editorial

Not hate, just prudence

Judging by your editorial page, it seems your paper is anti-Trump. As one of many who side with Donald Trump, I think you have it all wrong. Trump is not promoting fear and hate but what is a reality in this country. We cannot afford to let everyone and anyone come to our country; we have people all around the world who wish to do us harm. If they indeed don't want to cause us harm, they should have no reason not to come in legally. I see no hate in that.

John George, Wimauma

Florida primary

I voted too early

It's interesting that mail-in ballots were sent out nearly two months ago. I voted right away and returned my ballot. Now, after seven or eight weeks of television coverage, I have changed my mind.

I wonder if that factor influenced the outcomes. At least a couple hundred thousand ballots were already received along with mine, I'm sure. Had I waited and voted Tuesday, my vote would have changed.

Shirley C. Moravec, Clearwater


Sunday’s letters: Slogans won’t ensure safety

LegislatureSafety requires more than slogansOn Wednesday, our Florida House passed House Bill 839 requiring all public schools to post the state motto, "In God We Trust," in a "conspicuous place." The day before, the same Florida House declined to ev...
Published: 02/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18