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Republicans responsible for care cuts

Letters to the Editor
Published January 22, 2006

State Sen. Mike Fasano and County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand hope to help the 70,000 Pasco County residents without health insurance. Someone better step up to the plate as Florida lawmakers and Congress keep giving in to the private health insurers and pharmaceuticals. Fasano and Hildebrand are proposing a quarter-cent or half-cent on the dollar increase and want the residents to vote on it in the November election.

Bill Bunting, the county Republican Party leader, has already started to criticize Fasano's proposal. Bunting claims that he is always taken aback by such proposals when the Republican Party of Pasco works so hard for less taxes and less government. He says that in his opinion the tax increase to help the uninsured should be a state or federal issue and should be dealt with through Medicaid. Well, all the hard work for less taxes and less government haven't helped the poor and the middle class. More and more Pasco County residents are without health care.

Of course, what Bunting doesn't say is the Republican lawmakers in Tallahassee did approve a Medicaid overhaul. They sold us out to the private health insurers and allowed the health insurers unprecedented ability to roll back benefits and increase the costs to their clients. Bunting knows perfectly well his party is responsible for the cutbacks in Medicaid, which have left Pasco residents without health care. What does he care? He and his family will have no problem paying for health care.

-- Patty Jay, New Port Richey

Fight higher taxes; don't let item get on ballot

As I said when I was fighting the Penny for Pasco sales tax increase, if voters approved that increase, government would just be asking for more. The position taken by some legislators that they are just wanting to put it on the ballot for the voters to make a choice is just a guise for pushing the tax.

When elected officials vote to put something on the ballot, there is an implied approval perceived by some voters. If this is approved to go on the ballot, what is to stop the County Commission from approving money to promote the sales increase just as they did with the Penny for Pasco?

Voters have to stand firm against more taxes.

-- Ann Bunting, Hudson

Casino gambling could solve funding problems

If anyone is interested in considering an obvious solution that should satisfy both those who oppose and those who insist there is a need for new sales taxes, then all they would have to do is wake up and support allowing casino style gambling on the Gulf Coast.

Casinos provide a huge source of nontaxpayer funding. People who want to gamble are going to gamble regardless of the feelings of the small minority dead set on always trying to impose their personal beliefs on others.

Wouldn't it make just a little more sense to keep the taxes realized from gambling here where it's needed instead of always having to depend on new taxes and always forcing Florida's gamblers to travel elsewhere? Other communities are benefitting from Florida's generous gambling dollars.

-- Frank Lloyd, Zephyrhills

Sinkholes are making insurance unaffordable

I have lived in Florida for the past 30 years.

I have Citizens insurance for my homeowners policy. For the past three years, the annual premium has risen, which was not a particular concern because prices keep going up for everything on a yearly basis.

This year, however, my homeowners policy went from $1,300 to $2,184. My property taxes are not as high as my homeowners premium.

I was told that this increase was made because of where I live in Pasco County. Evidently, Pasco is the sinkhole capital of Florida. I expected my homeowners insurance to increase because of the past hurricane season but not to this point. Also, no other insurance company will give us a policy because of where we live.

I am a retiree and living on a very fixed income. This increase, I was told, is only a prelude to the next one, which should take place in April or May. They said that our premium would probably go up to more than $3,000 per year.

I cannot afford this kind of insurance and I guess after all of these years living in Florida I will have to move to another state.

These increases not only affect the elderly but also affect the young people. Pasco County jobs are very low paying and some of these younger people will not be able to afford the high premiums.

I realize I am only a small voice but I'm sure there are a lot of other people out there that are as upset as I am.

-- Terry Cori, Hudson

[Last modified January 22, 2006, 01:02:19]

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