My sister’s burst appendix
America’s costly health care system is not working | Editorial, Dec. 29
No kidding. Anyone who has traveled outside the United States a lot or who has received medical care overseas (I have done both) knows that our system of medical care is an expensive, disorganized, inefficient mess. People here from another country go back to their native land for medical or dental care if possible. My sister and her husband used to winter in Mexico. She suffered a ruptured appendix there. She got excellent care and made a full recovery. As a non-citizen she was charged for the transportation, doctor, surgeon, surgery, hospital and convalescence. The bill was $4,500. She was uninsured. In the United States under similar circumstances, they might have been bankrupted.
Pete Wilford, Holiday
I quit on Jan. 7
Why this conservative veteran quit the GOP | Column, Dec. 29
I could not agree more with Robert Bruce Adolph. I officially quit on Jan. 7, but deep down saw it all ending when the party suffered a hostile corporate-style takeover by Donald Trump in 2015-16. The GOP has repeatedly tried to take away health care, affordable prescription drugs, child-care, new roads, bridges, a living wage and make it harder for Americans to vote. Do some GOP supporters hate the rest of us more than they love a decent life?
Brian Walkowiak, St. Petersburg
Left after 60 years
Last year I left a Republican Party that abandoned the values it stood for when I first joined in 1961. I could no longer associate myself with a party whose leaders used misrepresentation, distortion, lies and character assassination to attack political opponents. That brings me to Jim Waurishuk, chair of the Hillsborough Republican Party, who recently defended a Republican attack billboard labeling Rep. Kathy Castor a socialist and a Communist. He claimed Castor’s position on the Green New Deal (which he badly misrepresented) justified the labels. I was tempted to simply dismiss him, but I took time to check his background and was surprised to find that we both held senior intelligence positions at Central Command and Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, though at different times. As military officers, we subscribed to a code of behavior that mandated honesty and honor, and I cannot imagine that an intelligence officer with our backgrounds could not define the precise meaning of socialism and Communism.
Mike Pheneger, Tampa
The writer, a retired colonel, was a U.S. Army intelligence officer.