Friday, February 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: BayCare, UnitedHealthcare debate holds patients, doctors hostage

BayCare hospitals vs. UnitedHealthcare

Holding patients, doctors hostage

Dirty laundry is being aired. Monies are being spent on full-page newspaper advertisements stating which company is at fault regarding the Medicare community.

BayCare claims to value its relationship with its patients. Really? Then why is the door being shut on thousand of Medicare Advantage UnitedHealthcare patients?

UnitedHealthcare is balking at payment increases demanded by BayCare. Yet UnitedHealthcare raises the cost on some of its premiums.

Where is consideration regarding doctors and patients? BayCare is advising thousands of patients to seek hospital care located quite a distance from their neighborhoods. If BayCare can afford to lose that much business, maybe its fees are too high. Patients do not want to travel long distances away from neighborhood hospitals.

What about doctors? Do they have operating access to hospitals that are quite a distance from their practices? Would they want to stretch their already precious time to operate and visit their patients in hospitals several miles away?

Patients and doctors are being held hostages in the game of greed. If this "game" does not stop with a compromise before Dec. 7, there will be no winners. Please act now to resolve the situation.

Lois Hawkins, Dunedin

BayCare hospitals vs. UnitedHealthcare

Make health care the real goal

First, lets take the "care" out of their corporate names. The only caring they do is to see how much money they can make and take. No concern about the tens of thousands of citizens they mentally torture and force to spend their holiday seasons worrying about changing doctors and finding new hospitals.

It seems that each contract year, some health insurance company goes to battle with their network. Most come to terms at the final hour and all is well for another year.

It's always about the almighty buck. No one, really, can figure the true cost of in-network and out-of-network care, and that's just the way they want it. Bay — I will not use the word "care" in their name — just got fined a huge sum of money for over-billing Medicare. That seems to be a real easy target — just ask our current governor.

Over-billing, up-coding procedures and balance billing seem to be the game played. The losers are us. We're always are the bottom of the financial feeding chain. Please, United and Bay, settle your differences and get back to providing quality healthcare at reasonable and transparent rates.

You've caused such anxiety to your doctors, enrollees and seniors that it may be "Medically Necessary" to seek psychological counseling. Is that covered under my plan?

Bill Coleman, Dunedin

Injured cyclist will never forget

The handlebars on my bike came loose while I was riding my bike in John Chesnut Park in East Lake on Thanksgiving Day, causing me to lose control of the bike and go crashing to the pavement.

A group of people from Shelter 3, who were having Thanksgiving dinner, rushed over to make sure I was okay. They gave me a bag of ice to hold over my copiously bleeding head gash and napkins to stem the flow.

But more than that, they offered support, companionship, humor and comfort while we waited for my husband to come pick me up. Then they helped my husband load the bike into his car.

I wanted to thank them all from the bottom of my cynical heart for their extreme kindness and care, and especially to "Nurse Man," who checked my wound constantly and kept me calm during the whole ordeal.

I hope all of you had a most wonderful holiday, and since I'm sure to be back in John Chesnut Park on my bike as soon as possible (with tightened handlebars), whenever I go by Shelter 3 I will remember you wonderful people who took time from your own celebration to aid a stranger.

Linda Luise Treuhaft, Palm Harbor

Holiday light shows.

Gardens' lights are a bright spot

Why does the media always highlight shows in states and cities so far away? If you want to celebrate the holiday of lights, drive to the Botanical Gardens in Largo. This show of lights is installed by master gardeners, other volunteers and a great staff.

All of these states don't have what the gardens have — people who care and joyfully work to bring special memories to those who choose to visit.

There is no admission charge, since it is a county park. If you are a taxpayer or a visitor, you will be warmly welcomed to this annual holiday of lights.

Thank you to all who work all year to bring this light show for everyone to see regardless of religion. This is also a very special place for those who cannot keep up with the foot traffic of the big cities. Bring your camera and smile while enjoying this wonderful light display.

Marie F. Hoke-Singer, Largo


Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18