Monday, January 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Site worked, but insurance costly

Affordable Care Act

Site worked, but insurance costly

I had the talk recently with my 26-year-old daughter, who had aged out of my company medical insurance plan and with great trepidation went to www.healthcare.gov.

The website worked seamlessly and was no different than Amazon or eBay, and after about 45 minutes we selected a plan (including an inexpensive dental plan) that fit our needs. She was able to keep her same doctor and dentist.

But was the bottom line inexpensive? Not really. Total cost was about $340 per month because she has no subsidies available. Last year she made too much (about $30,000 as a veterinarian technician) and this year she has no income as a full-time college student studying to become a veterinarian. (And Gov. Rick Scott has refused to expand Medicaid.)

I consider this an investment in America, so if in a few years you have an ailing puppy or kitty and find a convenient and affordable veterinarian, please thank the Affordable Care Act.

By the way, I served my country as a Peace Corps volunteer and unlike the military we have no lifetime medical benefits — and in my group our casualty rate exceeded that of our military brothers.

Arnold Goldin, Redington Beach

There's help available

While the Affordable Care Act's website struggles are a constant in the news, trained navigators are readily available to help consumers. In Pinellas County alone there are 16 offices.

Money was spent to staff these offices and train the workers. It would be a shame if these resources were not used because people got the false impression they had to go it alone on the website.

Bonnie Agan, St. Petersburg

Scott's chief of staff lied about degree Dec. 7

A teachable moment

As a high school teacher, I think that Adam Hollingsworth admitting he lied about his education is a great teaching experience.

What have we learned? Well, you can lie and still get a great job. Keep the lie to yourself until you get caught. Then, all you have to do is "apologize" for lying, except you don't call it a lie; it is a "misstatement."

After the apology, everything is hunky-dory. The governor, who himself is well-versed at making "misstatements" about his former job, assures us that his chief of staff is "a man of integrity and character."

If you lie or cheat in high school, you get a written referral. If you do the same in politics, you just smile and move on. Shameful.

Ronald Medvin, Tampa

Tracing the money that spread the lies Dec. 6, editorial

Children needed that help

Kidz Club, described as "a center for children with special needs in St. Petersburg," contributed $10,000 to the recent mayor's race. Who would authorize this donation and why? Surely the children need this money, and the politician who received it should quickly send the donation back.

Ed Cadden, St. Petersburg

The minimum we can do | Dec. 8

Revolution in the air

The real question is: What are we going to do as the relentless replacement of humans by machines eventually eliminates most jobs?

In five years cars and trucks will drive themselves — no more taxi drivers or truck drivers, so the middle class takes another hit.

Smartphones, and smartclothes with sensors connecting to robot surgeons, will put pressure on doctors. Engineers too. Computers will be solving political and environmental problems, which might be a good thing unless they want to eliminate the problematic carbon-based units: us.

Computers are already making decent music. With virtual reality banging at the door, many people won't want to interact with real people. The revolution has started. Worry.

William Gilbert, Weeki Wachee

$44,000 for flood insurance? | Dec. 7

Worse than a flood

I've never been as frightened for my family's future as I am now by the ticking bomb known as the Biggert-Waters act.

After paying $200 for a required survey, I learned that my flood premiums will rise from about $1,500 annually to $9,009 per year.

While the rates will be phased in for those who can afford growing escrow payments, the impact is immediate for homebuyers.

In short, my cost of living goes up and my property value drops. Nobody will pay the value of my modest home plus $9,000 a year for flood insurance.

Unless Congress acts to postpone this action or modify its impact on homeowners, the consequences could be more disastrous than an actual flood.

Nice homes in our middle-class Dunedin neighborhood already stand empty. We've lived and invested hoping to retire here, but truly don't know if we'll lose everything because of something none of us could see coming.

Please join me in imploring Congress to save our homes and our futures before this man-made tide sinks us.

Ken Lynam, Dunedin

Bureaucratic bungling | Dec. 6, letter

Most are dedicated, able

I take issue with the letter writer's characterization of the work of U.S. federal government employees.

As a 35-year federal government employee in Washington, D.C., who supervised and worked with many government employees, I found the vast majority to be dedicated, hard-working and intelligent people who were every bit as good as employees in the private sector whom I have worked with over the past 15 years.

Where would this country be without dedicated government workers such as air traffic controllers, meat inspectors, National Institutes of Health researchers, FBI agents, etc.

Yes, there are some incompetent government employees, but you will find those in all large organizations.

I agree with the letter writer that the Affordable Care Act website is a mess, but keep in mind it was built by a private contractor.

Ronald L. Piencykoski, Clearwater

Comments

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Published: 01/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

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Published: 01/20/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18