Protect sanctity of parks
Remember the proposed campgrounds at several Florida State Parks, including Honeymoon Island, that resulted in a loud public outcry in 2011? It appears the Department of Environmental Protection and Tallahassee Community College don’t remember. TCC is proposing a 50-year lease of 2,000 acres at Wakulla Springs in the Panhandle, a full one-third of the park, to conduct what they call a resource management and park management training program. This proposal includes a 60-site RV campground on parkland purchased to protect groundwater flowing to Wakulla Springs. If this lease is approved, it will set a terrible precedent for other parkland throughout the state.
There are those who believe that state parkland that doesn’t include facilities built on it is not being fully utilized. They don’t get that the state parks’ mission includes recreation and preservation. Be sure, this will not be the last attempted land grab from our award-winning state parks. We all need to remind our legislators and Gov. Rick Scott how Floridians feel about protecting our state parks from non-park purposes.
A costly decision
The New England Journal of Medicine’s Journal Watch, dated July 1, stated that “Healthcare reform in Massachusetts was associated with a drop in mortality.” In 2006, Massachusetts expanded Medicaid and provided subsidies for private insurance. As a result, 270,000 adults gained insurance coverage. After 2006, all causes of mortality in Massachusetts decreased by 2.9 percent. The Supreme Court recently allowed the states to deny Medicaid coverage to the unemployed and those making less than $15,000 a year. This allowed political opponents to gut an essential part of Obamacare. This is what’s happening in Florida, where Republicans are denying medical coverage to over 1 million adults. It is costly to provide minimal Medicaid coverage to over a million people, but it is far more costly not to. The uninsured miss more work due to illness, die sooner and often leave taxpayers to care for their families when they are gone. Also, the poor utilize the ER more often for medical care, resulting in higher medical insurance rates for others.
Juan Puerto, M.D.
Corporations are people
I read the rather bizarre letter against the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision several times (“Let’s study angels,” July 3). The writer brings up the question about why corporations should be treated as people. The answer is simple: The Constitution does not specifically assign the same rights to corporations or organizations as it does a person. It is assumed they have most of those same rights as an individual. Otherwise, they would have no protection from the government doing whatever it wants to them. That would create an unstable effect on business and society.
I’ve read recent and past letters concerning amendments to the U.S. Constitution or revising the document as a whole. I thought I’d throw in my two cents:
Amend the Constitution to create popularly elected cabinet positions within the executive branch of the government while maintaining the Electoral College system for the presidential office.
This amendment would guarantee a president who’s not wholly answerable to the popular electorate while granting him advisers who must answer to them.
Cabinet members would retain some autonomy in operations over their respective departments, including their own budget requests.
This system would respect congressional authority to approve budgets, grant the possibility that no one party would command the White House for eight years, and give the people of this country some assurances that their votes and liberty would maintain the respect of the government — which should represent their interests rather than those of the government itself.