Florida must do better by its struggling senior citizens | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. [ NANCY KASZERMAN | (Nancy Kaszerman/Zuma Press/TNS) ]
Published Oct. 28, 2021

Get serious about putting seniors first

Why is it hard to find home health care in Florida? | Oct. 18

Florida’s aging population is growing at one of the highest rates in the nation, yet the state lacks sufficient funding for long-term care services. Florida’s seniors are facing a dire situation, made only worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, as many struggle to age in place in their own homes. In fact, Florida is in 51st place on AARP’s scorecard for long-term services and support.

Florida Health Justice Project (FHJP), a non-profit dedicated to improving access to affordable health care for our most vulnerable low-income populations, has developed materials for seniors and caregivers struggling to afford long-term home-based health care. We have created advocacy guides on how to apply and keep those services, as well as how to contest the loss of services canceled by managed care programs. We also raise awareness on the challenges facing seniors and their families by sharing their stories.

If Florida is serious about putting seniors first, our state leaders should encourage federal efforts to fund and support long-term, home-based health care programs, including the benefits outlined in the Better Care Better Jobs Act, part of the spending bill currently being debated in Congress. This legislation provides critical funding to expand the home health care workforce by increasing wages for caregivers.

Alison Yager, Miami

The writer is executive director of the Florida Health Justice Project.

I know what he’s thinking

What’s Florida surgeon general Joseph Ladapo’s problem? | Editorial, Oct. 27

Your editorial asks “What was Gov. Ron DeSantis thinking in making this appointment?” I have been asking myself the same question since his second month in office. And sadly, Florida suffers.

John Stansbury, Brooksville

Sign of the times

Can Florida quit OSHA? | Oct. 23

When I worked at a research and development lab, we had a sign in the quality control department that read, “If you think OSHA is a small town in Wisconsin, you’re in a lot of trouble.” So what rabbit hole is this new development in the elimination of OSHA heading down?

Harriet Browder, Clearwater

No moving on

Condoleezza Rice wants to move on from the Jan. 6 insurrection | Column, Oct. 24

I’ve been stewing for a day and a half over Leonard Pitts’ column about Condoleezza Rice. I just cannot believe that a person of Rice’s intelligence and influence would say something like we should “move on” from the Jan. 6 insurrection. This is like saying: forget about it; it isn’t important that a bunch of thugs attacked the Capitol; who cares if the insurrectionists wanted to maim Police Officers or to hang the vice president of the United States; what does it matter that these terrorists tried to block a constitutional activity of the Congress of the United States; etc. Rice disappoints this Army veteran immensely. While I totally agree with Pitts’ conclusions, I would go a step further and suggest that Rice talk with a hero such as such as Rep. Liz Cheney.

David Drake, Seminole

COVID, not guns

DeSantis plans to call a special legislative session on vaccine mandates | Oct. 21

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ support of police officers and others who refuse vaccination is irrational. The No. 1 killer of police officers is COVID, not guns. COVID is considered a line of duty death loss. Such death benefits can exceed $1 million when all sources are included. In addition to the wasted life of a police officer, the expense of the death benefit, the pain and suffering to the officer’s family, the irrationality of allowing officers — whose job it is to be in contact with the general public — to be unvaccinated, is contributing to the spread of the disease, more death and more suffering for Floridians. Now he wants to offer $5,000 bonuses to out-of-state officers from departments where “the morale is low, if (they) can’t take that environment.” Tell me, does this make sense to any one who is not a “patriot” like those insurrectionists of Jan. 6?

Patricia Obeirne, Clearwater