Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Health reform doesn't go far enough

Delayed coverage could be too late | Dec. 1

Reform doesn't go far enough

The family's story outlined in this article is certainly sad: a diagnosis of terminal cancer without any insurance. Does it get any worse than relying on charity and safety nets, or fighting for the best deals on treatment when you should be spending the last days with your loved ones? Situations like these are exactly what the Affordable Care Act is trying to address.

If Obamacare is "too late" for this family, then the GOP plan is "too bad." Too bad you had the nerve to get sick. Too bad you don't have premium health care plans like your elected state and federal representatives do — paid for with your taxes. Too bad that even though you work in the health care profession you still cannot afford to purchase health insurance. Too bad for you and your spouse that he could not find a job that even offered health insurance.

The biggest problem with the Affordable Care Act is that it does not go far enough. We need single-payer comprehensive health insurance so we can have humane health care for everyone.

Leslie Sisto, St. Petersburg

Jobs alone can't make state a land of promise Dec. 1, Robert Trigaux column

Florida making progress

I had a strong reaction to this column. Contrary to Robert Trigaux's assertions, I believe that Florida's elected officials, particularly Gov. Rick Scott, have positively impacted our state's unemployment rate and should be commended.

When Scott took office, Florida had a decreasing population and double-digit unemployment (11 percent). In some counties, the unemployment rate was much higher. That situation has improved. Unemployment has fallen to 6.7 percent — below the national average — and is on a downward trend.

I agree with Trigaux's suggestion of improving graduation rates, decreasing crime and poverty and keeping Florida a beautiful state. But I also believe in giving credit where it is due and recognizing achievements that have been made to improve the economy, make Florida more business-friendly, and address the challenging issues facing the state. Scott promised Floridians before his election that he would work on improving the economy, and he has kept his promise.

Although Trigaux offers faint praise, the fact that Tampa Bay ranks high among the top metro areas in Florida for creating jobs really is great news. Tell an unemployed parent trying to support a family that jobs are not important and see what they say. Employment does matter. It is the first and foremost step to Florida's recovery.

By attracting businesses to Florida, the governor, Legislature, Florida's local economic groups and Enterprise Florida have created thousands of jobs for Floridians. We should proudly welcome the Hertz Corp., Verizon, Boeing, Amazon, USAA, Deutsche Bank and others. These businesses diversify our state's economic base, which is beneficial to all.

Florida is a diverse state with a number of challenges. Thankfully, the unemployment rate is one challenge that is becoming more manageable thanks to the efforts of our elected leaders.

Alex Sanchez, president and CEO, Florida Bankers Association, Tallahassee

Pope wants the church to confront real needs Nov. 27

A challenge to capitalism

Pope Francis, with a huge world following, has called out capitalism for what it is. It's a mean-spirited, dog-eat-dog survival-of-the-fittest system, pitting people against people for the benefit of a few. He even demonized Ronald Reagan's "trickle-down" idea and mentioned the word "sinful." How are the "holier-than-thou" crowd, mostly right-wing conservatives, going to spin this?

All the compassionate, concerned, caring Catholics — and the secular media — should keep asking these loud proponents of capitalism over and over: How is it that this unfair system creates a great society? Who benefits the most? What would Jesus think?

John Culkin, St. Petersburg

Learning N-word origin might help curtail its use | Nov. 18

Noise and health

I was happy to see in Ernest Hooper's column that Tampa residents have initiated a petition on to stop the blaring of train whistles in the wee hours. Since any medical investigation of a suspected case of hypertension starts with a check of sleep patterns, such an action is long overdue.

Given the potential harmful effects on the health of so many, I'm surprised the American Medical Association or Physicians for Social Responsibility did not long ago address this situation. The health of millions nationwide is being jeopardized to protect a very few whose lack of attentiveness to driving is probably accompanied by a blasting stereo that would in all likelihood drown out a train whistle.

I hope everyone affected by this ridiculous intrusion on their sleep will sign the petition.

David Strattman, Ruskin

Lessons for the living | Dec. 1, letter

What science doesn't do

The letter writer is using a double-edged sword. Science may not teach about compassion, redemption and the shared wisdom of religion. But science has not started religious wars, developed torture, public executions, enslavement or the suppression of differing views.

Donald Rourke, Tampa

Editorial cartoon | Dec. 2

On a short fuse

The political cartoon by Clay Bennett that ran Monday on the Times' editorial page had a double meaning to me. There is a stick of dynamite stamped "Iran," with its lit fuse being snipped by scissors. This could mean "whew!" But it could also mean "uh oh!" — since a shorter fuse is left, to be relit later.

Raymond Brown, Tampa


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

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18