Sick and tired | June 24
Health reforms show compassion
I had an interesting conversation with a person who was against the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a., Obamacare. After going back and forth with him on several key points, I asked what he would propose instead. His answer was revealing. He said, "In life, some people win and some people lose." I suppose that meant that if you can't pay when you get sick, you lose.
What we have to ask ourselves is: What kind of a world do we want to live in? What kind of country do we want to be? One that demonstrates compassion for those less fortunate, or one that just considers the health of wealthier Americans? One that provides medicine when people get sick, or one that just lets them die? Or, to quote the man I spoke to, lets them "lose"?
The Affordable Care Act may not be perfect, but at least it tries to provide health care to all Americans, regardless of affluence or pre-existing conditions. I, for one, desire to live in a country and world that demonstrates compassion for those less fortunate.
Compassion is evidence of our evolution. Or, if you don't embrace evolution, then perhaps the words of Jesus will inspire. "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do unto me."
Yvonne M. Osmond, Clearwater
Opening the books on the cost of college June 25, editorial
On the road to mediocrity
You began this recent editorial with the blatantly false statement that "college is a commodity." I would request that the editors stop contributing to the decline of Western civilization and think before they write.
A commodity is an article of trade or commerce, as opposed to a service. Not only did you misuse the word, you furthered the destruction of education as just another aspect of business.
The purpose of education is to foster the intellectual development of students by pushing them as much as possible in the time we their professors have allotted. The focus, therefore, is on making the student better — as a person, thinker and doer.
Business, in contrast, has the goal of delivering an acceptable product or service in the cheapest way possible. When applied to education, the goal is to give the minimal amount of training necessary to satisfy the majority of people who are watching that some semblance of learning has taken place.
One is a path that drives us to ever greater heights. The other is a road to, at best, mediocrity and stagnation. By asserting that education is a commodity, you further the agenda of a business model. The Wal-Martization of education is the road to destruction for our nation.
Eric Odgaard, Lutz
Rubio gets it right on immigrant comments June 25, PolitiFact
Your article says that statistics for 2009 show the United States had 1,130,800 permanent immigrants, compared to "only" 606,314 for Germany. Although these numbers are correct, you should have put them into perspective: The United States has around 311 million inhabitants living on 3.79 million square miles whereas Germany has 81 million inhabitants living on 138,000 square miles. So one could say that, proportionally, Germany has a much higher legal immigration than the United States.
Patrick Bauer, Wesley Chapel
Keep readers informed
I have been following developments on climate change and I am disturbed by the lack of reporting of these developments by the Tampa Bay Times.
Last month, Agence France-Presse reported climate scientists saying that warming could exceed 3.5 degrees centigrade if world leaders continue to ignore warnings. Last week, the same news agency reported that rising sea levels are putting the Atlantic Coast at risk. And the Associated Press reported that seas off California could rise as much as 5 feet this century. This is news that all Americans should be aware of.
Robert K. Powell, Spring Hill
Each year, we receive pamphlets and newspaper articles containing good and valuable advice regarding preparations for possible hurricanes. Among the wise counsel included is the suggestion that people on life-saving maintenance prescriptions should have two weeks' supply on hand. Excellent advice.
However, it is impossible to fulfill, since insurance companies will not allow us to refill prescriptions more than a few days before they are completed. Thus it is impossible to accumulate a two weeks' supply.
I require eight prescriptions daily (some twice daily). I am required to take these medications as prescribed. Should I be unable to get them for whatever reason, my health and my life would be threatened. I have contacted my insurance carrier, whose reply has remained constant: "We will not allow you to refill early or to accumulate a two weeks' supply for emergencies." So, despite the fact that the advice is sound and wise, it is an impossibility due to insurance requirements.
It certainly seems that a solution should be available that would allow individuals on maintenance medications to acquire an emergency supply.
T.M. Marks, St. Petersburg
These protesters follow their own paths June 24
Getting the message out
This was a great article on the protesters at the Republican National Convention. They are coming up with unique and innovative ways to get their message out. One question that wasn't asked stood out: Are they going to be in Charlotte to protest the Democratic National Convention?
Ken Miller, Pinellas Park
Not much of a boost
Last month an article asked, "Where's the RNC business?" As someone who was living in the vicinity of the last Republican National Convention, I can tell you that the RNC is a traveling road show that the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul both later admitted was far more of a security expense than it was an economic boost.
Jeff Gerbino, Spring Hill
Mandatory life sentences struck down in kids' cases | June 25
Life and death
Apparently the majority of the Supreme Court thinks a victim is not as dead if he is killed by a 14-year-old as he would be if killed by an 18-year-old.
Lynn O'Keefe, Largo