A foolish fight against health care | Sept. 20, editorial
Repeal effort deserves applause
President Barack Obama and his congressional Democratic Party allies imposed the health care reform act on we the people with little consideration for the legitimate concerns raised by the majority of Americans, so Florida's Republican candidates and their fellow nominees across the country who pledge to pursue repeal of this act should be applauded for heeding the call of those they hope to represent.
A poll taken by Rasmussen Reports just this week finds that a stunning 61 percent of likely voters favor repeal of the law. Our would-be representatives are therefore obligated to advocate for revocation of this law. Dare I say voters may find it refreshing that some lawmakers may actually listen to their constituents?
Simply referring to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as "reform" does not make it so, and is in fact an insult to the intelligence of the American people. The legislation was hurriedly pushed through Congress with the sole purpose of giving President Obama the false victory of claiming to be the first to bring a health care system to the United States. Most Democrats did not even want this version of the bill, and only acquiesced in the final hours for political purposes, the will of the people be damned.
Perhaps it is no surprise then that only months later House Democrats now want us to forget this vote as they ask for another two-year term.
To be sure, most Republicans agree that the American health care system is in need of reform. However, real reform can only be achieved with legislation that directly targets the sources of rising costs, and those factors that pose obstacles to access and coverage. Republicans suggested tort reform to combat skyrocketing malpractice insurance fees, and removing the barriers that prohibit consumers from crossing state lines to purchase insurance. President Obama and his fellow Democrats dismissed these and other practical solutions, which is why most Americans are so insistent upon repeal.
Democrats should join their soon to be new Republican counterparts to repeal this law and begin anew on the types of reform the American people demand.
Walter Stackow, St. Petersburg
Let the government do it
I agree with Republicans who say the federal government may not force me to purchase health insurance from a private, for-profit, company. I disagree with Republicans who say I must not be taxed by the federal government to provide me with government health insurance. The additional taxes will be lower than the premiums paid to for-profit companies for an obvious reason.
There is a precedent for federal health insurance. Consider public education. The majority of Americans owe their literacy to government-provided "free" education. It is without question a resounding success. Government-provided health care could be just as successful.
Say Yes to a "government option."
Chas. E. Lehnert, Riverview
Chamber puts party above sense Sept. 19, editorial
In Sunday's paper you opine that the Florida Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Rick Scott because "he's not a Democrat." Coming from a newspaper that has been in business for 126 years and by its own admission has never recommended a Republican candidate for governor or the presidency in the general election I find the hypocrisy interesting.
The facts are that the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Rick Scott (and most Republicans including Bill McCollum) are on the same side of most issues affecting businesses, and Alex Sink and most Democrats are on the opposite side.
For example the chamber and Rick Scott are on the same side regarding Obamacare, cap and trade, financial reform and a host of other issues affecting business, and Alex Sink and the Democrats have an opposite worldview.
Even if Rick Scott was not the first choice, why wouldn't the chamber endorse the candidate that shares their worldview?
Douglas J. Longfellow, Tampa
Supporters, keep in mind candidate's electability | Sept. 18, Charles Krauthammer column
Liberating the party
In this column, Charles Krauthammer chided the Republican primary voters for nominating unelectable candidates for the November election.
An old cliche allows that politicians worry about the next election while real leaders worry for the next generation. To our chagrin, we (both parties) have filled Washington and Tallahassee with politicians who are electable. Too often, their electability turns out to be their only talent. They continue to be nominated as long as they are considered electable. And the next generation gets the bill.
This year, the tea party has given the Republicans a rare opportunity. By nominating new faces, whether or not they win the general election, they are liberating their party from the death grip of electable buffoons. They appear to reason that, considering that fate of the next generation, one more year in the minority of one house or another is a small price to pay for the long-term regeneration.
W. A. Broderick, Tampa
Votes must be 'for'
In the midst of all the current demands that we should vote against big government, or against big-spending politicians, it should be pointed out that no voter can vote against anyone. There is no place on the ballot for an "against" vote.
You must vote for some one, be it senator, governor or whatever. And whoever you vote for will have an agenda of his/her own. Voters, however disillusioned they might be, must still consider the proposals of the candidates they vote for.
And unfortunately, this voter disillusionment is fertile ground for the charlatans and con artists of the right wing to plant their seeds.
Lewis Lederer, Clearwater
Congratulations to the St. Petersburg Times and to other local media for hyping up the prescription pain medication hysteria. Now even disabled combat veterans are having a hard time getting adequate treatment for chronic pain.
I hope you sleep better knowing that veterans are suffering tonight so you can sell newspapers.
John T. King, Tampa
Pastor eyeing the bay area | Sept. 18, story
Liberal or smart?
So Terry Jones, the Gainesville "pastor," wants to relocate to the bay area because the "liberal" residents of Gainesville would not accept his teachings.
Is that being "liberal" or just intelligent? We have enough problems in the bay area without becoming the next area to be scorned worldwide, because if he does relocate, we can be assured that the news media will keep him in the spotlight, and he knows it.
MaryJane Callihan, St. Petersburg