Letters to the Editor for March 28, 2103
Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 2:41 p.m.
David Colburn (Sun, March 24) warns us not to jump on the anti-federal government bandwagon, and reminds us of the federally supported development that was crucial to Florida's development over the past half century.
However, Colburn ignores the critical issue: that the federal government today is a much different organism than those of the past. Encumbered by a massive debt that is larger than the nation's annual income and led by men who want to borrow an additional trillion dollars a year into the foreseeable future, our government today is attempting a financial trick that has been the downfall of every nation that tried it throughout history. That is to create prosperity by borrowing so heavily that it can never be repaid.
Pamela Mincey (Sun, March 23) was right to link the new biomass plant's merits to the urgent need to limit climate disruption. An Alachua County commissioner recently mocked the idea of raising utility rates to counter climate change, but the science is clear and overwhelming: slowing climate disruption over the next few decades will cost little compared with the enormous costs of trying to adapt to it and to patch up the widespread damage it causes.
Polls show that the public is unaware of active climate scientists' near-complete agreement that planet warming is real, caused by us, and highly dangerous. Nor do most Americans grasp that the increasing heat, dustbowl-ification, rising acidic seas, megafires, Frankenstorms and widespread extinctions to come will be essentially permanent. Postponing the large, coordinated counter-offensive required by climate disruption guarantees it will be less effective and costlier when finally attempted.
As usual, the poor will suffer most.
You are the Gainesville mayor. You have a one-car accident at 2 a.m. It takes the sheriff's deputy more than an hour to get to the scene. The deputy takes no action and calls the highway patrol, which takes another hour to get there.
The patrolman gives you a field sobriety test, which you fail. Rather than give you a breathalyzer test right then, you are taken to jail where you are given the breathalyzer two hours later. Doesn't it seem like the wheels of justice are going real slow here?
No regular citizen would have that same delay. A sobriety and breathalyzer test should have been given by the sheriff''s deputy, first on the scene. The probable results would have shown a level above the .08 limit. The .061 test that Mayor Craig Lowe blew can only have resulted from the Gainesville good ol' boy network taking care of one of its own.
Expanding Medicaid eligibility to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of poverty (about $32,500 for a family of four) would benefit Florida and Alachua County.
Voters — and legislators — should support this expansion. Research on Medicaid participation shows it reduces illness and death, contributing to a healthier, more productive population. Expansion will also bring a significant influx of funds into Alachua County, increasing jobs.
During the national dialogue leading to the Affordable Care Act, hospitals made financial concessions in expectation that the vast majority of the population would be insured. Failure to insure the lowest income segment of our population will, therefore, disadvantage hospitals and increase the cost of care for them.
We should urge our legislators to support a program that will improve the health of the most vulnerable, stimulate the local economy, and return our federal tax dollars to help us contain local health care costs.
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