Saturday, April 21, 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


Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18