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Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
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Letters to the editor: They’re people

They’re people

“Innocent civilians.” Invariably, the phrase is used to describe those killed in some terrorist attack or something like the chemical attack in Syria. Our own president used that phrase to describe those who died or were injured by sarin gas in Syria. Now the same is said of those killed at the Westgate Mall in Kenya. Media bobbleheads and others have a close affinity for this annoying term in describing the victims of most terrorist attacks.

First, by using the adjective “innocent” for civilians, there is the implication that another class of civilians exist who are not “innocent” and that it would not be all that bad to use chemical weapons on them or to murder them in a terrorist attack. Further, the term civilian differentiates from other classes, such as government employees, security personnel, the armed forces, etc. Again, the shadow passes over the logic, forcing the thought that non-civilians might be OK to maim and kill.

Really, these “innocent civilians” should be called “people.” But the latter does not yank the heartstrings like those poor “innocent civilians”.

Vald Svekis


Premium increases

This is in response to Paula Dockery’s column “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: fact vs. fiction” (Other Views, Sept. 20):

She has at least one fact wrong. She presents the statement “rates will go up” as a fallacy. This is a fact! I don’t know who she has spoken to or where she has checked her facts, but she is incorrect.

My husband and I run a small business and have been paying for our own health insurance — he for more than 10 years and me for more than eight. We have Humana and CIGNA as our health insurance carriers, and they have raised our rates 15 percent to 20 percent per year since the Affordable Care Act was passed. This year my insurance will increase by 28 percent if I choose not to change anything, and my husband’s will increase by approximately 12 percent if he chooses to keep his plan as is.

We already have high deductibles — mine is $3,000 — and they want us to go to $5,000 deductibles to keep our monthly insurance premiums near the current amount.

Ours are not the worst: My sister was advised that her BC/BS health insurance premium will increase by approximately 150 percent if she stays on the same plan.

The three of us are in our early 50s and are all healthy, non-smokers who go to the doctor regularly for our annual physicals. Affordable? That’s laughable! I hope Dockery will do her homework more thoroughly.

Marilyn Westendorf


Washington insanity

So we have more negative letters, more grandstanding filibusters and more articles about the Affordable Care Act. There have been comments about the Constitution and majority rule being ignored. If I remember correctly, the bill was passed by both the House and Senate. It was signed into law by the president. It was upheld by the Supreme Court. Sounds pretty constitutional to me.

Pressured by the tea cups, the House continually wastes time and money voting to repeal the law knowing that a repeal will not pass the Senate. Does it sound like Einstein’s definition of insanity? And since both houses of Congress must pass a bill, it seems to me the majority elected to the Senate believe their folks want the law to stand.

I certainly am not in favor of moochers — whether it’s those who mooch from strangers with scams or panhandling, those who mooch from family taking money or assistance with no intent of repayment, or those who mooch from the government. They can be dealt with, given sufficient enforcement. But do you scrap the entire health care law to stop these people? What of those who really need help?

If members of the House have written a bill to fix the law, I have not been able to find it posted anywhere online. If it is there, please tell me where; I’d like to read it. Oh, and where was a health-care bill when they controlled everything?

Surely, if a reasonable, bipartisan health care bill were presented to both houses, discussed, evaluated and made clear to the people, it could easily replace the current law. The problem I see is that a Republican House would have to pass a bill that will be signed by a Democratic president, and that will never happen.

John Stansbury


Bedtime horror story

If Sen. Ted Cruz would have read the Obamacare law from beginning to end, how long would he have stood on the Senate floor? Would the one-party law have made a unique bedtime story (of the horror genre) or an effective solution for insomnia? Would he still be reading the bill after beginning his speech last week? Would senators finally know what is in the bill? Would the American people finally know what is in the bill? Would Nancy Pelosi finally know?

This law is longer than the Bible, and God, the Bible’s author, is a lot smarter than any of these people in Washington, D.C. God help us.

Cathy Starnes

Plant City

Destiny’s team

I believe more and more that the Tampa Bay Rays are truly a team of destiny this season. Runs are scored by the bottom of the batting order when most needed. The defensive play is often spectacular. The bench contributes regularly. And the bullpen usually comes through to preserve a victory. But I am convinced the starting pitching rotation is the omen, the real key to the predestination of the Rays in 2013. The starting pitchers are Cobb, Hellickson, Archer, Moore and Price. Their initials spell, appropriately, the word CHAMP.

Seaford Jackson


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