Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Root our health fraud and waste

Help choose the Letter of the Month

Letters to the editor offer a significant contribution to the discussion of public policy and life in Tampa Bay. To recognize some of that work by our most engaged readers, the Times will select a letter of the month and the writers will be recognized at the end of the year.

Help us choose from the nominations for letter of the month for March 2013 by visiting the website listed below by Friday. Read through the three letters and vote on the ballot at the bottom of the Web page. We will choose the finalists each month based on relevance on topical issues, persuasiveness and writing style. The writer's opinion does not need to match the editorial board's opinion on the issue to be nominated. But clarity of thinking, brevity and a sense of humor certainly help.

To see the three March nominees and vote, go to www.tampabay.com/opinion.

FBI raid signals end of Universal | March 29

Root out fraud and waste

We can afford health care for all — if we stop abuses in the current system. Universal and WellCare are two recent local examples. More than 800 people lost their jobs at Universal, whose failure had a major impact on 140,000 members in 23 states. Correct waste and abuse and we can begin to slow down the rising costs of health care, which amounts to one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

Time magazine published a report on the primary reasons for our rising health care costs. Our current accountability systems, billing procedures and costs are not controlled; thus they are open to error and fraud.

If the medical profession, our hospitals, government (Medicare, Medicaid) and private insurance companies know this, why hasn't it been corrected? One effective starting point is to replace fines and penalties with jail time.

Bill Wilton, Tampa

Buyer's remorse over Florida Polytechnic March 29, editorial

Put it back under USF

If House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz had any real commitment to the conservative principles to which they allude ad nauseum, they would lead their fellow Republican state legislators in an effort to reverse last year's gutless decision to create a 12th state university out of USF in Lakeland.

Florida Poly, which should be renamed "JD's Folly" in honor of its self-aggrandizing creator, JD Alexander, then should be put back under the auspices of USF, followed by a thorough personnel housecleaning of its local administration to ensure that any trace of Alexander's cronies, lackeys and assorted sycophants have been eliminated from the premises.

Maybe now that the senator is back home in Polk County and not in Tallahassee, GOP legislative leaders will somehow find the courage to act in the best interests of the state and of its postsecondary educational system.

Joe McColloch, Tampa

The speeding ticket and the pink slip March 29, Daniel Ruth column

Lack of ethics evident

By publishing this column, the Tampa Bay Times editors condone a total lack of morals and ethics.

The democratic principles upon which our country was founded included a classless society where some may be smarter, more successful or better-looking, but as the adage goes: "We all put on our pants one leg at a time." We should all be ashamed that a special class has evolved that pretends to be better than everyone else — as well as those who have abetted such a privileged group.

I feel sorry for the trooper who was penalized for unethical conduct, but he chose to be part of the mess. I feel sorrier for Rep. Charles McBurney, who has suffered character assassination because he chose to opt out of the quagmire. The latter should be admired for the high morals and ethics he practices in life.

Finally, Daniel Ruth's cutesy way of adding a derogatory term every time he mentions McBurney's name is journalism at its lowest.

J. Daniel Techentin, Dunnellon

No good deed …

No good deed goes unpunished. Since the pope has already been chosen, would Rep. Charles McBurney like to put his name in for the next round? How can you cost a man his job for being nice?

Bruce Edgar, New Port Richey

Civilian Conservation Corps

Idea whose time is back

Sunday marked 80 years since the creation of the U.S. Civilian Conservation Corps. On March 31, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law his first "alphabet soup" New Deal initiative. For nine years, from 1933 to 1942, the CCC gave more than 4 million American men and women employment. They fought forest fires, replanted nearly 4 billion trees and provided disaster relief. The CCC demonstrated that there was no conflict between the preservation of the environment and the creation of jobs.

The 21st Century CCC Act has been sponsored by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio. The nonprofit Civilian Conservation Corps Initiative Inc. urges Americans to contact their representatives to support renewing this program for future generations.

Jay D. Alexander, St. Petersburg

Bloomberg, LaPierre trade truths, half-truths March 29, PolitiFact

Going beyond the numbers

It seems to me that your logic in evaluating the percentage of gun show purchases is flawed. You concluded that while Michael Bloomberg's estimate of 40 percent may be the best number you could find, you labeled it "Half True" because you couldn't substantiate it.

Given that there is uncertainty, I think you should have gone beyond trying to document whether the percentage is accurate. You should have tested how variability in the number would impact any conclusions that might be drawn. For instance, if the 40 percent estimate is only half-true (i.e., it's 20 percent), does that invalidate the conclusion that gun shows represent a huge loophole that convicted felons could use to buy guns?

You also quibbled that some of the 40 percent represented parent-to-child transfers of firearms. Do you really mean to imply that a parent of a convicted felon should be able to give their child a firearm without a background check?

Ed Fagan, St. Petersburg


Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

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