a good start
The Affordable Care Act may not be perfect, but what it is is a beginning.
When Social Security and Medicare began, they too were not perfect laws.
Change is very hard for most people. My question is, do we continue to pull down with outright lies, massive money being spent on false TV ads, people talking down, what might in fact help all those who face illness.
Look at who is funding the fight against the Affordable Care Act. The very same people who consistently speak for greed and power.
Some of the same people who hate Social Security and Medicare, the people who continue for six years to believe that low-paying wages, no benefit and under 32 hours of work per week are real jobs!
Common sense shows that some kind of intervention -- such as the Affordable Care Act -- will allow employers to hire full-time employees because they will not now be solely responsible for medical insurance.
For the millions of Floridians who collect Social Security and have Medicare, do you remember the politicians who were totally against these two programs? Do you remember the same rancor and hysteria that presented itself? The same people who have so much money that they can put out falsehoods through ads just to scare people -- they are the same people who fought back then.
Without Social Security, we would have millions of people with NO income right now -- some of your parents and grandparents might be totally dependent on you. The high cost of medical care, waste and fraud has not only hurt people, it has added to many problems with our economy.
To not begin to try to make a difference makes no sense for anyone. Instead of always saying "no," add something positive and meaningful that can tweak the Affordable Care Act and make it even better. Telling people with no insurance to just "go to the emergency room" when they're sick is not an answer.
Katherine J. McDonald
Criminals, not NRA, to blame for homicide rates
On Sept. 26, one of your readers laid the high number of gun-related deaths upon the NRA and its membership. He ignores the fact that all the recent mass shooting incidents involved individuals with a criminal background, a mental health issue, and/or ties to Muslim extremist groups. Not one of these mass shooters was associated with the NRA. The NRA simply promotes gun safety, good sportsmanship, and defends our Second Amendment rights.
This individual also claims that the NRA had fallen victim to a radical coup in their leadership. I presume he lumps the late Charleston Heston into that radical group?
One of Heston's hallmarks as NRA president was his outrage over the board of Time Warner for releasing a CD by the rapper Ice-T. Reading from the lyrics of Ice-T's controversial song "Cop Killer," it underscored references to sodomy and the murder of law enforcement officers. Heston denounced Time-Warner for what he saw as its greedy surrender to an amoral pursuit of profits.
If we use the reader's logic; and blame the NRA; we might as well blame the American Automotive Association for the large number of drunk-driving deaths in this country. Or maybe we should blame high abortion rates on the National Organization for Women.
While we're at it, let's blame the National Organization for Marriage for high divorce rates in America.
What the previous writer ignores in his editorial is the need to address in America the high rate of gang-related gun murders. In the end, it all comes down to personal responsibility and moral character. The blood is on the hands of the criminal element that perpetrate these crimes not the NRA.
Commissioners need to reverse Long Bar Pointe vote
On Aug. 6, the Board of Manatee County Commissioners voted to change the map of Long Bar Pointe from residential to mixed-use. Commissioners Carol Whitmore, Betsy Benac, Vanessa Baugh and Larry Bustle voted for the change. Robin DiSabatino, John Chappie, and Michael Gallen voted against.
More than 6,000 people petitioned against this change. They understood the environmental, economic and social risks of putting a convention center, sea-walled boardwalk, and high-rise hotel directly on Sarasota Bay. They understood Terra Ceia and Palma Sola Bays could be next. Do we want Manatee's coast to look like Miami-Dade's?
On Sept. 9, the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council rendered its opinion about the map change. As a result, the county commission will have an opportunity to reconsider. As the planning council report suggests, Long Bar Pointe already is a "natural resource of regional significance" and a "cultural, natural, and economic amenity." It won't be if the commission does not reverse its decision.
Commissioners favoring the change should not self-congratulate on the removal of a 300-berth marina from the developers' request. When the day comes for reconsideration, I hope the commissioners will support the broad classes of constituents who objected to dredging and filling of a salt-water wetland, mangrove forest, 2-mile-long meadow of sea-grass, and fish nursery that services West Florida's existing multimillion-dollar fishing and tourism economies.
We must stop urbanizing our shoreline and plan instead for resilient coastal living. Coastal urbanization destroys not only ecological systems, but also social and economic ones. Large-project development can occur in other locations in the county. Other U.S. coastal counties are already proving that environment and economy are mutually compatible. At least 6,000 people in Manatee already get that. When will Whitmore, Benac, Baugh, and Bustle?
Second-generation Old Florida Native