Fla. GOP looks to dismantle the health care overhaul | March 23
McCollum's partisan ploy
Upon passage of the historic health care reform bill by Congress, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum proudly announced that he will sue the federal government to "protect the rights" of the American people.
It is outrageously presumptive of McCollum to believe that he speaks for all, or even a majority of, Floridians on this matter. What about the rights of the tens of thousands of honest, hard-working Floridians who through no fault of their own have lost their jobs and no longer have health insurance? Does he speak for them?
I for one do not want a penny of my tax dollars spent on a bogus lawsuit that will only serve to embellish McCollum's conservative credentials for his gubernatorial campaign. If McCollum wants to sue the federal government over health reform, let him put it to a state referendum.
Doug Robison, St. Petersburg
A case to be made
I believe the state has a very good case for saying the health care bill is unconstitutional. How can you make people pay for health insurance and then fine them if they don't. It should at least be optional, not mandatory.
I also do not agree with the extremes that Republicans have gone to since President Barack Obama was elected. Republicans have been slandering and bad-mouthing Obama since Day 1. I do not recall the Democrats doing the same to George W. Bush in his first year of office.
Gregory A. McCarthy, Largo
Making health care history March 23, editorial
Opposition offered bipartisanship
Your editorial said that "it would have been preferable for such significant legislation to have bipartisan support …"
There was bipartisan support — to kill the bill. The only Democrats in Congress who are "courageous" are the 30 or so who joined the Republicans to vote against this budget-busting monstrosity.
Poll after poll shows that a solid majority of the American people are against this bill and, when Gov. Charlie Crist and state Attorney General Bill McCollum pursue the will of the people with a legitimate lawsuit you criticize them for self-interest. I will decide what's in my best interest, not a newspaper.
Charles Heist, Clearwater
A GOP failure
As a lifetime Republican I find it unbelievable, unconscionable and unforgivable that not one Republican member of the entire House of Representatives voted in favor of the health care reform bill.
It is obvious that my party — soon to be my former party — sold out to the corporate interests of insurance and drug companies. The Republicans were also complicit in furthering their political agenda to defeat President Barack Obama rather than doing what is best and right for the American people. I hope people recognize their calculated machinations and defeat them at election time.
Only "we the informed people" can strive to make it a better America. Vote the Republican scoundrels out!
Dr. Marshall Duguay, Indian Shores
Then there's the cost March 23, commentary
A budget buster
As we saw in the president's health care meeting with Republicans, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin questioned the president regarding the Congressional Budget Office's cost projections under the Senate health care bill.
The president's response was that under the bill, the budget would be reduced. Now two days after passage by the House of the Senate bill with amendments, the above article is published in the St. Petersburg Times outlining the methodology of calculating costs presented by a former CBO director.
His conclusion was: "The health care legislation would only increase the crushing federal debt." The media seemed to be silent on the real cost issue while reporting on such an important matter two days after the legislation passed.
Robert K. Reader, Clearwater
An uncertain future
In early February, a Canadian premier had heart surgery in Miami. On the advice of his doctors in Canada, he came to a Florida cardiologist. Gee, I wonder why a high Canadian official with such a good health care system would do that. Could it be that the Canadian system discourages medical students from becoming specialists?
Now that U.S. health care legislation has passed, we have been promised that health care will not be rationed. But in 10 years, when many of the current cardiologists, neurosurgeons, nephrologists, etc., have retired, will there be enough new ones to go around? I guess if you die from heart disease, a cancerous brain tumor or kidney failure as a result of not being able to find a doctor, it is not the government's fault. They certainly did not ration your care, did they?
Charles Palmer, Lutz
Arrogance at work
Some 235 years ago, the arrogance of the British king and Parliament precipitated our American Revolution. We later embraced our new Constitution as a means to both form a limited central government and, significantly, to protect ourselves from this same government.
We have just seen the arrogance of Congress and president in their disregard of the will of the people and their expansion of the size of government.
Now about 36 of our states have initiated or passed laws to protect themselves from this same "limited" government. What's wrong with this picture?
Larry Jackson, Tampa
I believe strongly in citizens' right to voice concerns about policy that will impact them. Yet I also believe that when voicing these concerns they have a responsibility to be well informed about the issues they are protesting against and voice those concerns with civility.
The picture of a recent protest in front of the Federal Courthouse in Tampa had two signs against a "government option," a policy that has not been discussed for months. Obviously, these individuals are just following a crowd and formed their opinions with sound bites and messages that instill fear.
Similarly, Sunday's paper detailed a story in which protesters in Washington were yelling racial and antigay slurs at members of Congress. What place do race and sexual preference have in the health care debate? This tells me that the so-called Tea Party is not calling for good policy but is instead angry (and intolerant) about something entirely different.
If these protesters are concerned about their rights, they have to be informed and they have to respect the rights of all people.
Ann Doyle, Tampa
On the winning side
It seems that Sen. Jim DeMint was correct last July when he said that health care could be President Barack Obama's Waterloo. The senator just didn't realize that the president would choose to play the role of Wellington and leave the role of Napoleon to Sen. DeMint and the Republicans in Congress.
Richard Hallmark, Largo