And now the rest of the story, Perspective; and Bending but not breaking, Pasco Times | Nov. 8
Touching tales reveal health care's need
Last Sunday's St. Petersburg Times told of two heart-rending stories. One of a young woman with brain cancer, who "lucked out" to get care she ordinarily wouldn't have gotten. Another of a 14-month-old baby with an incurable disease. In both cases, good people helped out, one a physician, and another with friends who are raising money, even though the family had health insurance, but it's never enough.
Each family will owe thousands of dollars when all this is resolved. This additional worry and stress will be with them as their loved ones struggle with their illnesses. Now, tell me, how can anyone who has compassion and humanity deny that we need a health care overhaul in this country?
Older Americans love Medicare; don't ever think of touching it. What about the rest of the population? Should they be left to suffer, get lucky or, perhaps, die if they don't get medical care?
In America, the richest country in the world, how can we deny those who are ill? If older Americans love Medicare, let's see if everyone will love it! It's time for America to institute a plan that we will all pay for through our taxes, like Medicare!
We are not asking for a free plan. We need and want Medicare for all. It's that simple. We must care for our fellows. By the way, I am on Medicare, and I know how wonderful it is.
Lilyan V. Dayton, New Port Richey
And now the rest of the story | Nov. 8, Perspective story
We need more than luck
While I commend Dr. Craig Bennett for having taken on Richelle Haag's case, I cannot commend his powers of logic. He is quoted as saying: "There really is a way for anybody to get help. Our system does a lot to protect people without any money." But later: "Life is a little bit of luck … I can't treat a hundred Richelles."
Furthermore, Richelle showed symptoms of her tumor over a month ago. Perhaps a neurologist can chime in here, but in the case of a fast- growing tumor, maybe if Richelle had been sent to a neurologist then (which is what would no doubt have happened with someone with good health insurance) her tumor would not have been quite as large and invasive.
So let's think this through. If you do not have health insurance you need luck. Would Dr. Bennett (or anyone else) choose to base his family's health care on luck?
Cathy Eberhart, Dunedin
Young's claim false on Obama speech Nov. 12, PolitiFact.com
Still making excuses
for the president
Time after time I have read political columns and even news stories published in the St. Petersburg Times that have cited PolitiFact as though it were some kind of impartial source of truth that deserves to be believed because the Times says it should. The facts are, though, that the column is written by someone whose liberal agenda is so obvious that it insults the reader's intelligence.
A typically egregious example is the column on Nov. 12. According to PolitiFact, the claim by Rep. C.W. Young that President Barack Obama said, "For those who oppose our policies, you should just shut up and go away," is false.
Did Young claim that was a direct quote? No. Does the exact, actual quote from Obama, presented as a defense by the Times, include the arrogant message from Obama that Young claims? Obviously, yes.
Obama's quote includes: "But I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking" (in other words, shut up) and "I want them just to get out of the way" (sounds like "go away" to me).
Just how much clearer could Obama have been and how far will the Times bend over to deny that Obama deserves the least bit of criticism?
Ted Milios, Hudson
"Go away" or "Get out of the way." It doesn't matter. The point is the same. This administration will not or cannot tolerate differing points of view. That is un-American. We should thank Rep. C.W. Bill Young for pointing that out.
Bob Woltil, Largo
Rep. C.W. Bill Young has repeatedly proven he is merely a loyal Republican foot soldier. If it's a Republican platform issue, he's for it. If it's a Democratic platform issue, he's against it.
He was happy to vote for George W. Bush's Iraq invasion and deficit spending. Now he's an obstructionist, voting against economic stimulus and equitable health care, while at the same time he touts himself whenever government pork is sent his way. His recent Barack Obama misquote is right down there with Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh hack jobs.
The Times needs to factor in these issues, grow a backbone, and stop recommending Young's re-election every two years.
Ray Murtaugh, Dunedin
Young serves nation well
I want to thank Rep. C.W. Bill Young for thinking for himself as to what is best for the whole country and the economy and voting against the Democratic Party's bloated monstrosity.
When the president says that the American Medical Association supports the health care bill, please remember that less than 20 percent of practicing doctors belong to that organization. It does not speak for the others.
Ask your doctor whether he/she supports the legislation.
K.L. Blikken, St. Petersburg
Defending capitalism and the Constitution Nov. 12, letter
That "Barack Obama and his radical cohorts are pursuing an impossible socialist, egalitarian, socialist dream," as the letter writer says, must surely be a nightmare for the followers of "truth tellers" Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, whose purpose is not so much defending the Constitution as attacking any proposal that might require some sense of neighborly concern.
To deny health insurance to the increasing number facing joblessness, foreclosures and bankruptcy, to disregard the growing gap between the ultrarich and the middle class and poor, and to ignore the reforms that must be made to improve education, the environment and our energy policy is both morally wrong and intellectually flawed.
Failure to put out the flames that are devouring our neighbors sets the stage for a conflagration of the whole of society. As the poet says, "no man is an island," nor is any group entire of itself. We are linked in an inalterable dependence on one another.
Paul Lupone, Spring Hill
The minefield at home | Nov. 1, by Michael Jernigan
Focus on veterans
I would like to express how impressed and moved I was by the personal essay by Michael Jernigan.
I feel that a candid discussion of the issues veterans face once they return home is sorely needed. Too many civilians, myself included, have no idea of the mental turmoil many veterans face. All we see are the physical wounds.
As a society we need to take more of an active stance to bring light to this very important issue, and this must start by listening to the veterans when they speak, the way Michael Jernigan has. I would highly encourage the Times to make Michael Jernigan's essays a regular section of its newspaper.
Susan Smith, Lutz