Letters to the Editor for March 17, 2013
Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 10:40 p.m.
The multibillion-dollar health insurance industry has started a campaign they are calling “rate shock” and blaming on the Affordable Care Act. The March 14 article on these rate hikes shows that they are going to be imposed on young Americans. The reason for these “shocking” rate hikes are not because of increased illness or claims in our younger citizens, it is only so that the health insurance companies can continue to enjoy huge profits.
The Affordable Care Act tries to prevent the gouging of older citizens by not allowing the health insurance industry to charge seniors more than three times the premium of what it charges its youngest healthiest customers. Faced with this requirement, the insurance industry is blatantly just raising the rates of its younger members so that it can triple that amount for their older clients.
Commercial profiteering of our health system is not only immoral, it is the foremost reason our country is in financial ruin.
Michael Mac Millan,
Too much credit
In Tuesday's editorial, The Sun gives U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho way too much credit for taking the time to pen a Speaking Out column. Yoho's column was so lacking in intellectual content that I suppose the only compliment that could be made was for the use of Yoho's time. Undoubtedly, a staff member wrote the column thereby negating any praise that should be directed toward Yoho for his time spent.
Who in our gerrymandered congressional district voted for this guy? He seems out of step as a representative of the Gainesville area. So how did he get elected? Was it purely a case of voter apathy? If no, we apparently bought a pig-in-a-poke. If yes, we must get off our backsides in 2014 and turn him out of office.
The Sun's tepid praise and the to-date legislative actions of the congressman are insufficient to warrant moving him beyond his freshman term in Congress.
I have recently learned that the City Commission is seeking $1 million of federal money to study the feasibility of having a trolley on tracks that would run around the downtown area.
If this study is encouraging, the commission would then seek about $130 million dollars to build this trolley. Since the federal government is reducing funds to the Women, Infants and Children program and Meals on Wheels, it may have the money to give away for projects like this.
Downtown Gainesville will start to resemble Disney World! Perhaps the seats could be taken out of the trolley and replaced with bunk beds and lockers. That way, they would provide both storage space and beds for the downtown homeless people.
Trolley residents could be given pointed hats and Mickey Mouse ears to carry out the theme. What a vibrant downtown we are going to have!
Gainesville's voters should vote “no” on the proposed amendment to the Gainesville charter. It would move city elections from every spring to general-election voting dates. It would also enlarge City Commission terms of office from three to four years.
I don't buy the hand wringing about low turnouts in municipal elections. Sure, the right to vote is the core of democratic rule, it ought to be encouraged and all needless barriers removed. But nothing recommends voting by people who don't care about government or, worse, don't know what they are voting for.
Dedicated voters have a better chance to evaluate City Commission candidates in spring elections, as has been the Gainesville custom for decades.
The proposal would also enlarge the term of office. City decisions operate close to our homes, neighborhoods and communities. The people ought to have frequent chances to vote “the rascals” out. Three years is enough.
After reading what the Florida Legislature has done or is planning to do to many thousands of people (both active and retired) in the state-funded retirement system, I sincerely hope any changes in the revised statutes also affect the legislators (both active and retired) as well as all high-level state executives and the governor. If changes are made, they must be applied uniformly.
I understand that changes to new employees may be considered, but for people who have been in the system for any length of time, it may be cruel awakening to missing benefits.