Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Speculating in the dark

Scott has his facts wrong | July 3, PolitiFact Florida

Speculating in the dark

Respectfully, PolitiFact, a genius way of skewering political foes, persists in diminishing itself by pretending to be news. Your speculations on the impact of the Affordable Care Act contest with the governor's conjectures. That's fine on the opinion page but not on the front page, and not now.

The core of the bill won't be the law of the land until 2014 — not until the regulations are promulgated and the myriad operational participants are prepared to enroll. Whenever enrollment commences, no tax or penalty will be levied until April in the following tax year. Actuaries will need a year or so of claims data before adjusting the program's crucial details and rates. Evaluators will require a year or two after that before they can start to report, and early assessment will be chasing a moving target. Those are front-page facts. Applying the Truth-O-Meter to anyone's guess today is as absurd as using 1965 forecasts as a source authority.

I rate the governor entitled to his intuition.

Pat Byrne, Largo

Scott will not carry out health care law July 1

Robust Medicaid formula

It's clear to the Florida's Legislature, Gov. Rick Scott and the entire health care industry that for every additional $1 Floridians budget for the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid revisions over the next six years, the state will receive about $20 back in matching funds. That is what makes the Medicaid expansion of Affordable Care Act so attractive. Without that additional funding, Florida's health care industry will continue to supply health care to the uninsured and not get paid for the service. This single factor creates the environment we have today where paying health care customers finance the loss that the medically uninsured create.

Scott, previously the CEO at the largest hospital corporation in America, knows this better than anyone else; the best and only source of revenue is paying patients. If it's a 20-to-1 income generator, how can the CEO-governor "trash" all that cash and, in the process, condemn over 3.2 million Floridians to the ranks of the uninsured?

We wanted leadership from the governor, not sour grapes. Scott and his allies will be leaving Floridians and Florida's medical industry in the lurch.

Stuart Berney, Tampa

Affordable Care Act

Doesn't add up

Where will the money come from? Only about 100 million people in the United States pay federal income taxes. Obamacare will cost an additional $500 billion per year. That's another $5,000 per working person per year on top of what we already pay. Perhaps one of the multimillionaire Democratic senators, like Nancy Pelosi or John Kerry, can pay the extra $10,000 per year for my wife and me.

Richard Golden, San Antonio

Give law a chance

There is something that Rick Scott, Pam Bondi and others of their ilk have in common who are so fiercely opposed to the new law. They have great health insurance, largely paid for by others. The thinly veiled political acrimony toward anything Obama does has to end.

Stop wasting time and money. The new law may not be the right thing, but it is better than nothing. It is likely that some aspects of the law will be tweaked as time moves on, and maybe some parts will be replaced in their entirety. Let's give it a chance.

David Cardina, Tampa

It's clear we need a change

Let's look at a few facts. The World Health Organization ranks U.S. health care at 37th in the world, far behind all of the developed Western-style democracies. The CIA World Factbook says that our life expectancy is lower than that in other industrialized countries — even lower than in Jordan and Bosnia. Infant mortality in our great country is higher than in Cuba and Slovenia.

For all this mediocrity we pay roughly twice the amount of money per capita for our health care system than the country in second place. It is obvious that we need a change. While many people seem to dislike the Affordable Care Act, it seems that all groups polled, except for Republican politicians, prefer most of the provisions of the ACA by a wide margin. The ACA was not intended as a cure-all. It is intended to be improved over time with prudent changes. Let's urge our representatives of all stripes to keep it.

Bill Balmer, Seminole

Scott's arrogance is hurting Floridians July 1, John Romano column

Let the people decide

Am I the only one who caught the irony in John Romano's column, lamenting the idea that the "governor knows best," in the context of defending a law that tells the American people that we must buy something "for our own good"? And then to brush off the idea that somebody has to actually pay for these things, he says it's okay because the federal government is paying, not Florida. Where, pray tell, does Romano think the federal government gets its money?

Maybe if we were left to do as we see fit with our own money, we could create less uncertainty and more jobs and folks would actually be able to buy their own insurance, rather than have taxpayers pick up the tab.

Chris Johnson, Clearwater

Delusions of grandeur

It is reassuring when an article speaks the truth with every paragraph. Scott believes and acts as if he is a higher power than just the governor of Florida. Thanks for a well-written, attention-getting summary of his antics.

Thomas Martin, Gulfport

Found | June 30

Article missed the boat

As a boater, I know the fear one can feel when caught in a bad storm. But I cannot remotely imagine the feeling of terror these two men must have felt drifting for seven days in a life raft not knowing if they were going to die of drowning, exposure, thirst or worse, a shark attack. As a state with a huge boating population, this article could have been an important one in reminding us all to be prepared for the worst. Reporter Anna Phillips could have talked about the fact their barge was equipped with a lifeboat that saved their life. But instead, she lost my respect when she decided to include these men's arrest records at the end of the article. How were their arrest records even remotely related to this story?

Janice Berner, Tierra Verde


Wednesday’s letters: Don’t step on local government

Constitution Revision Commission Proposal 95Proposal steps on local controlThe Constitution Revision Commission’s seriously wrongheaded Proposal 95 states that local governments "may only regulate commerce, trade or labor occurring specifically withi...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Do you have a gold star yet?

Do you have a gold star on your Florida driver’s license, and are you REAL ID compliant?Florida is a federal REAL ID compliant state, which means that driver’s license and identification cards here meet federal law as to security standards and confir...
Published: 01/22/18

Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Diagnosis by journalist playing doctor

Trump’s sanity grades | Jan. 19, commentaryAn inept journalistic diagnosisI was worried the Tampa Bay Times wouldn’t find someone qualified to rebuke the findings of noted physician Dr. Ronny Jackson. To the rescue came the brilliant Gail Collins...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/22/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18