For author Biden, itís a fatherís gift | June 6
Keep programs that fight AIDS
After former Vice President Joe Bidenís recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the importance of not cutting off funding for AIDS-related programs, as we mark the 15th anniversary of the Presidentís Emergency Plan For Aids Relief, or PEPFAR. Thanks to bipartisan leadership 15 years ago, more than 13.3 million people, including 1 million children around the world, are receiving life-saving anti-retroviral treatment because of PEPFAR. Support for PEPFAR, coupled with scientific advances, has the potential to turn the tide on HIV/AIDS. Every day we are closer to achieving an AIDS-free generation. With the current administration trying to make cuts to global health and humanitarian programs, my fear is that PEPFAR will become a program of the past. I hope everyone will urge their members of Congress to support its continued funding.
Roseann Santella, St. Petersburg
A sabotage of health care | Editorial, June 17
We deserve good health care
Although I am fortunate be a basically healthy 83-year-old and to have a wonderful doctor who does not use me as a money machine by prescribing a lot of new drugs or unnecessary procedures, many seniors are in a far different situation and need the assurance that pre-existing conditions will be covered by their insurance. Americans, even young, healthy ones who do not need medical care yet, all have to vote carefully and elect only men and women who will rein in outrageous costs. Good care should not be only for the rich. It is a human right. Men and women in Congress have wonderful medical coverage and get the best of care. I happen to like myself and think I deserve the same. What about you?
Adele Ida Walter, Tampa
Doing the math | Letter, June 17
Protect the most vulnerable
Social Security is not only a retirement plan. Although 71 percent is paid out that way, the other 29 percent pays for survivorsí benefits and disability. This protects our most vulnerable, which any of us could become overnight. Someone who makes $128,400 pays $2,308 towards those less fortunate. Someone who makes 10 times more pays no more. Shouldnít someone who has benefited so greatly from this society be willing to pay the same proportionate share?
Jean McKnight, Palm Harbor
U.S. deports some parents withouttheir children | June 18
I just couldnít do it
I could never work a job, nor for an employer, that has me tear a breast-feeding child from their mother. Thatís just my family values.
Mark Moctezuma, Tampa
State jobless rate 3.8% | June 16
Plenty of low-wage jobs
The 3.8 percent unemployment rate was front-page news. The next day, away from the big headlines, was a report that $21.50 an hour is needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Florida. When you consider that those low-wage workers canít really contribute to the local economy in a meaningful way, 3.8 percent unemployment isnít really such a big deal after all, is it?
Greg Talamantez, Tampa