DeMint: Stop Obamacare now | Aug. 22
Obamacare's conservative origins
Jim DeMint should be ashamed of himself, as should the Heritage Foundation and every Republican who calls Obamacare socialism. The Affordable Care Act was a Republican plan, created by the conservative Heritage Foundation in 1989 and touted by Republicans all through the 1990s.
The essence of Obamacare is a three-legged stool of regulation and subsidies: community rating, requiring insurers to make the same policies available to everyone regardless of health status; an individual mandate, requiring everyone to purchase insurance so that healthy people don't opt out; and subsidies, to keep insurance affordable for those with lower incomes.
The original Heritage plan from 1989 had all these features.
Newt Gingrich, in 2005 during an interview on NPR, said:
"Our goal has to be for 100 percent of the country to be in the insurance system. So that means finding ways through tax credits and through vouchers so that every American can buy insurance, including, I think, a requirement that if you're above a certain level of income, you have to either have insurance or post a bond." He described the very basis for Obamacare.
Do Republicans think we are all unable to separate fact from propaganda? That's partly why they lost in 2012 and are likely to do again in 2016.
Ian MacFarlane, St. Petersburg
Fla. Cabinet slams insurance program Aug. 21
Failure at the top
It is appalling how the Florida Cabinet will do anything to ensure that the Affordable Care Act fails.
First, Gov. Rick Scott does not encourage the Legislature to accept federal money to fund the expansion of Medicaid, nor do officials set up a state exchange of insurance companies.
Then the Legislature passes a law so that the state insurance commissioner no longer has the power to negotiate medical insurance rates for two years so that they can say, "See, we told you. Obamacare will raise your insurance rates."
Now they are trying to use scare tactics by saying that when you enroll, all your information will be entered into a federal database that compiles information on all Floridians and that the navigators, trained to help with the enrollment process, will steal your identity.
I'm amazed at how selfish our state leaders can be with so many of our citizens without health care.
Myrna Forton, Spring Hill
Selig: MLB may get involved in Rays stadium talks | Aug. 16
League is partly to blame
The Rays' campaign to move the team to a successful venue is getting traction. It's about time Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig intervened.
Major League Baseball shoulders a share of the blame for the Rays' poor attendance. Why? Right before the St. Petersburg City Council voted to build the stadium, then-Commissioner Peter Ueberroth directly warned against it. Yet later, with baseball owners wanting to expand and seeing that the stadium was built, and notwithstanding the league's doubt about the location, St. Petersburg was awarded a team.
What baseball did is much like a parent telling a child not to play with matches and then rewarding the child with gifts when the child does just that. So now that the metaphoric child has been burned, it's ironic that owners complain about paying revenue-sharing dollars to the Rays and are pressuring Rays' supporters to figure out a way to build a better venue.
Major League Baseball itself needs to atone for the sins of the owners who voted to imprison a franchise in a place their commissioner conceded could not be a major-league town: Bail the Rays out of the Trop lease and agree to fund a meaningful share of a new stadium in a spot that works for all of us.
Cathy Peek McEwen, Tampa
Rays idea: site on I-275 | Aug. 22
The Sulphur Springs proposition leaves me wondering which individuals have their hands in the cookie jar. "Revenue-generating" for whom? If someone owns just a small parcel of property in the proposed zone, which has been bought for a pittance, then they can certainly turn that investment around.
Most of us, having just come out of a near economic depression, are okay with Tropicana Field. The thought of Hillsborough taxpayers paying more in addition to our current financial obligations is a bitter pill. Take a look at Detroit and their predicament after two newer stadiums.
But most troubling is the street access to such a venue. Any commuter who drives I-275 could be in gridlock. Any weekday 1 p.m. game in extra innings would be letting out fans at the same time of rush hour. Now there's a tantalizing thought.
I vote to keep the Rays right where they are and tell baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to put up or shut up.
David Vargas, Tampa
Does anyone think large numbers of Rays fans from Pinellas County are going to go to this location for a game, at least during the week?
First you have to clear the Howard Frankland Bridge, which can be backed up to Fourth Street, and then malfunction junction, then park. To get to a 7 p.m. game, I'd guess about 1 ½ hours to go 20 miles. No thanks; not even for free. This is also the reason we gave up our Busch Garden season passes.
James Molloy, Pinellas Park
Aussie player slain, U.S. teens held | Aug. 21
The senseless murder of an Australian student in Oklahoma exemplifies the moral decline of America. It is a direct result of what liberal-progressivism has done to America.
Liberal progressives have done everything they can to replace God and family with the state. They have pushed their idea that a family was not good enough to raise a child; that it took a village.
They replace traditional wholesome American values with the "anything goes," "don't judge anyone" philosophy of the left.
We see the end result of their disastrous economic policies in cities like Detroit and we see the end result of their liberal social policies in Oklahoma.
Gordon T. Brown, Lutz