Sunday, June 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Obamacare started as conservative idea

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

Questionable location

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

Arduous journey

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

Moral decline

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


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18