Yes, you can sign up for health care | Nov. 1, editorial
Unified effort needed on health
Thank you for your terrific coverage of the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act. There has been so much misinformation and such a lack of transparency about the realities. I have not seen much discussion of the facts anyplace but your paper. I hope that people who read the Tampa Bay Times will help get the word out to their friends and family that they need to act quickly to review their health coverage and make any changes they want for the upcoming year.
You are correct when you state that the ACA is not a perfect law. I don't think anyone, least of all Barack Obama whose name is on it, would disagree. But it was the best that could be worked out at the time. Obviously, health care in this country is a critical issue and one that needs to be addressed. The only way to do that is for both sides to come together and listen to experts and citizens to create something that covers everyone and reduces costs for the country.
I, and many other people, believe that moving to single-payer universal health care would solve most of the issues with our current collection of health care systems. We need to keep the pressure on our elected representatives to stop their bickering and their attempts to sabotage the current, imperfect, system. They need to work on behalf of all Americans to provide a truly universal, comprehensive health care program.
Jenni Casale, Palmetto
Fair Obamacare deal | Oct. 20, editorial
A bipartisan step forward
The recent announcement of bipartisan legislation to help stabilize the health insurance markets, while also providing protection for pre-existing conditions, is an important step forward in the ongoing health care debate. We applaud Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray for their leadership on the issue and strongly encourage Sen. Marco Rubio to co-sponsor this bill.
It is imperative that the health insurance markets are stabilized while also ensuring quality health insurance is affordable and available to all. Additionally, as the proposal makes its way through the legislative process, we call on Rubio to protect the thousands in Florida suffering from lung diseases such as asthma and emphysema by protecting pre-existing condition coverage.
The American Lung Association supports this effort and looks forward to working with Rubio to ensure that all Floridians have affordable, quality health insurance.
Martha Bogdan, executive vice president, Southeast region, American Lung Association, Jacksonville
Suspect to receive mental evaluation Oct. 31
Waste of time and money
How much has the state spent (wasted) in the past decade gathering evidence to charge Steven Lorenzo with murder? And how much more will it spend (waste) to try a 58-year-old man already serving a 200-year federal prison sentence (where he will die), all for the opportunity to kill him (maybe) after he spends 10-15 years on death row while the state spends (wastes) more money on his appeals?
Bruce Lowitt, Oldsmar
Trump threatens NBC over 'fake' story Oct. 13
The importance of the press
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses (issues) on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, outlining his problems with the Catholic Church. The church had lost its focus and Luther wanted to get it back on track. Seventeen years earlier, a similar individual was burned at the stake. The difference for Luther was the Gutenberg printing press, which allowed him to disseminate his positions to the German people. This led to the Reformation, which impacts most Christians even today.
This shows the power of the press. Today the free press continues to operate to keep corruption and the like at bay. Now we deal with the government rather than the church, but the effect is the same. Without a free press, corruption would be rampant. So when President Donald Trump speaks about revoking the license of certain media, that should concern all people. We need to treasure our free press.
Paul Riffel, Lutz
Plan gives private schools state cash | Nov. 1
Support public schools
Marva Johnson, state Board of Education chair, wants to give state money to private and religious schools because students' individual learning needs are not completely met and accommodated at their zoned public schools. But the reason for this lack of accommodation is the state's lack of funding these programs in the public schools.
There used to be special programs in the public schools that were designed to improve education for students with special needs, short- or long-range. A little over 20 years ago our Legislature gradually began reducing this funding for programs and personnel to meet needs and make accommodations. Now they want to give extra money to private and religious schools.
Why not give full funding to public schools? Is it because some of these legislators have a financial stake in these organizations?
Rita Nelson, Hudson