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Senate's health care bill will pinch seniors

Health care reform

Senate's bill will pinch seniors

The Senate health care reform bill now moving to debate is a truly raw deal for seniors. Some $486 billion will be cut from Medicare and $120 billion will be cut from Medicare Advantage, which many seniors use for vision and dental care, diabetic supplies and other needs not covered by Medicare. These cuts constitute a cruel plan to allow Sen. Harry Reid to claim the massive 2,000-page bill is "deficit neutral."

These harmful cuts to seniors will only partly pay for the trillion dollar health care bill, so there still will be $500 billion in new taxes. Some of the new taxes apply to medical equipment like pacemakers, hip replacement prosthesis and other vital equipment most commonly needed by seniors. The horrid bottom line is this: The massive health care reform bill touted to be "deficit neutral" will, in reality, be paid for on the backs of seniors plus the $500 billion in new taxes.

Since Florida has the highest per capita senior population in the country, how can Sen. Bill Nelson possibly support this bill by voting to allowing the bill to proceed to debate? The right thing to do would have been to vote no, kill the disastrous bill, and just start over with reforms that would not punish seniors and severely tax the rest of us at a time of great economic stress. Getting health care reform right is far more critical than rushing to meet the administration's political agenda.

Janet Smith, Green Cove Springs

Valuable care is worth it

I don't understand people who spend tens of thousands of dollars on cars, mortgages, vacations and TVs acting as though money spent on lifesaving medication or health care is a scandal. You constantly hear stories of elderly people who bemoan the cost of state-of-the-art medicines that keep them alive, that didn't even exist a few years ago. These same people will not say a word about anything else they pay for that costs the same amount because those things they do not have to have.

I ask you, if you were going to pay a lot for anything, shouldn't it be the medicine you need to stay alive? Instead of outrage, shouldn't there be more gratitude?

Jen Thompson, Largo

We need to remember that pennies do count Nov. 26, letter

Skip the harshness when doing a good deed

I was very disappointed with this letter concerning the writer's offer of two cents that a man at McDonald's needed to complete his purchase of a sandwich. While his offer was generous and Samaritan in nature, the luster was tarnished by his public humiliation of the McDonald's employee handling the transaction.

Instead of just handing the employee behind the counter the two cents to complete the purchase, the letter writer proceeded to embarrass the employee by publicly announcing, "Don't you ever refuse anyone food or drink for a lousy two cents."

The additional offer of five dollars to the man for his next meal may have more than satisfied the stranger, but it did little or nothing for the clerk's self-esteem.

The letter writer's generosity would have served everyone better had he quietly, without rancor or fanfare, just paid the remainder of the bill and slipped the man five dollars.

True benevolence and character begin and end when something is done for others without any anticipation of acknowledgment, without any desire for repayment or reciprocity. Anonymity is the true test of doing for others as you would have others do for you. While it is correct to say that "pennies do count," self-worth and dignity have value also.

Earl A. Myers Jr., Tampa

We need to remember that pennies do count Nov. 26, letter

Use a penny exchange

The letter writer has a good point: No one should be denied food over two cents. But it is not the clerk's fault. If he gave a few cents to everybody who was a little short of funds, he might be the next to not have a job. His cash drawer has to total out at the end of the shift.

It would be nice if every business had a place where you could "take a penny, leave a penny."

Bob Totta, Clearwater

Silent senators

Over the past month and a half, I contacted my U.S. representative and both my senators to find out their position on the vitally important issue of making health care affordable.

The score so far: I only heard back from one of them. Thank you, Rep. Bilirakis. Irrespective of whether I agree with them, I can't believe my elected representatives in Washington don't have an opinion, or the courage to reply to a constituent. Senators, I'm still waiting to hear from you.

Rich Clarendon, Valrico

How Sarah Palin might win the White House Nov. 27, commentary

Inclined to quit

If I pick up the paper one more time and have to see the likes of Sarah Palin in the news, I think I will get sick.

And as far as Matthew Dowd writing that she could win the presidential election in 2012, all her opposition has to remember to do is to state she is a "quitter." The going got tough for her in Alaska when she was being investigated, and she quit. She did not like the media reporting about her, so she quit. (Although she has no problem with the media now as long as they promote her book.)

If Sarah Palin could not handle the reaction of the media as a governor of a state where the population is small, how would she going to handle the media when they report about her as the president of the United States, the most powerful position in the world? Will she quit halfway into her term?

Matthew Mahoney, St. Petersburg

Morning ride duller without Sharon Nov. 25, Sue Carlton column

What a voice

Sue Carlton is correct in describing Sharon Taylor as one of the best female voices in broadcasting. I had the pleasure of working with Sharon in the news department at WSUN AM 620 when I was transferred to St. Petersburg in 1990 by Cox Radio in Atlanta.

What you hear from her on the air is what you get in person: a confident, comfortable communicator. Sharon and the late "Nightbird" Alison Steele were the best female voices I've ever heard on the air. I miss Sharon already and you'll miss her too.

Rich Carey, St. Petersburg

Morning ride duller without Sharon Nov. 25, Sue Carlton column

Look who's one-sided

I really had to laugh at the column by Sue Carlton about the morning ride being "duller" without Sharon Taylor. I liked Sharon going at it with the guys and so forth, but I had to do a double take when Carlton said their show was "lopsided" or "one-sided."

While that may be true to a point, I have to point out the fact that her column is invariably lopsided and one-sided, so what is her complaint? Maybe she should try thinking outside her little world occasionally.

Ray Smith, Largo

Morning ride duller without Sharon Nov. 25, Sue Carlton column

Getting too strident

Sue Carlton's column regarding Sharon Taylor's leaving WFLA was a shock to me because about three months ago I stopped listening to WFLA and switched to NPR.

When we first moved to Florida 12 years ago I started listening to 970 and was fairly pleased that the names in the news could be interviewed regularly and there was lots of local news. But then something happened and Jack Harris and Tedd Webb started talking about people in a derogatory fashion that I hadn't heard before. It seemed it was around the time that Fox took over the news. Glenn Beck was also fun to listen to when he was in Tampa, but then he went to Fox and lost me.

I like NPR because they seem to be calm and state the facts without putting their own individual spin on things.

Mary Lou Jenkins, Largo

Senate's health care bill will pinch seniors 11/29/09 [Last modified: Sunday, November 29, 2009 8:18pm]
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