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 change.org 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