Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Care shouldn't be based on costs

Medical groups want doctors to include costs in decisions | April 18

Care shouldn't be based on costs

There is something inherently flawed with the prospect of doctors making health care decisions based on the cost of drugs. Every American should have the appropriate care available for his or her illness based on best medical practice decisions, period. The situation becomes even more spurious when one considers the source of the suggestion — the American Society for Clinical Oncology.

As noted in your editorial April 10 regarding Medicare reimbursement rates, oncologists were among the highly reimbursed specialties with, according to doctors (not the Medicare report), much of the cost attributed to drugs and expensive equipment rather than salaries. One could therefore argue that if oncologists follow the ASCO's suggestion and utilize a lower-cost drug, their total Medicare reimbursement will be lower, quite possibly without any reduction in salary. Thus, is the suggestion by the ASCO one of fiduciary responsibility, or is it one meant to enhance the image of oncologists with no attendant impact on salaries?

As a patient, an American citizen and a health care communications specialist, I humbly request we allow doctors to make informed health care decisions based on what is best for the patient and leave fiduciary oversight to those responsible for payment and reimbursement. This will help reduce potential conflicts of interest in medical practice and, hopefully, keep us focused on fixing our system to ensure optimum affordable health care for all Americans.

Kim Pepitone Cottrell, Spring Hill

Private flood rates drop | April 18

Private policies, public pain

For months, residents of Florida have been told by Federal Emergency Management Agency administrators that Florida flood insurance policyholders have premiums that were being substantially subsidized by the federal government. They assured us that the true actuarial rates for Florida's flood policies should be much higher, an order of magnitude higher, than what we were paying before the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act. Never mind that Floridians paid four times in flood premiums what they received in claims.

Well, leave it to private insurance to offer flood insurance premiums approximately 10 percent below FEMA, pre-Biggert-Waters. It's great news for Floridians, but bad news for the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA will likely see a large percentage of its distrusting 2 million flood insurance customers run to Lloyd's of London. And all those Florida premiums used to subsidize the rest of the country?

Well, now FEMA and Congress will truly have a crisis on their hands. Irony has rarely been so beautiful.

Rick Perry, Treasure Island

Sheriff warns against medical pot | April 18

Comparison doesn't hold up

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri should not compare the prospects of medical marijuana with the dark history of pill mills. When people think of pill mills, they think of addicts and overdose deaths.

Unlike the narcotic painkillers dispensed by pill mills, marijuana has never caused a single death by overdose, and is hardly addictive. To draw a comparison between the two is intellectually dishonest.

Ryan Conley, Tampa

No more stalling on springs April 22, editorial

Restore natural Florida

In June 1950, my mother loaded the neighborhood kids up in the station wagon and drove to Kissengen Springs near Bartow for the annual opening of the swimming season. The springs were closed with a chain across the entrance. We kids jumped the chain and ran down to the springs to see what happened.

We found the springs, which had been as clear and beautiful as any spring in the state, were now a mud hole. A well on adjacent property had sucked all the water out of the aquifer in that location, leaving a pool of green slime. It was a shock for an 8-year-old to see how thoughtless development destroyed one of the most beautiful features of our state.

What is Florida? A gaggle of houses built around roads and shopping centers where asphalt is the distinguishing feature? It should not be. We need to preserve the natural part of Florida that is our heritage, starting with spring restoration. House Speaker Will Weatherford should release Senate Bill 1576 and get on with the job.

Russell J. Watrous, Land O'Lakes

Call it the Easter Dragon | April 19

'Where' was missing

One thing that I heard repeatedly when I started a career at newspapers was to be sure to tell the reader what, when and where. But after reading the paragraph on the front page in the In the Know column and then the report on the rocket launch elsewhere in the front section, I still didn't know where the launch took place.

There wasn't a dateline on the report or a mention anywhere in the article that the launch took place at Cape Canaveral.

Jack Mangus, Ocala

U.S. delays final call on Keystone pipeline April 19

Obama, fundraiser in chief

Finally, an article that openly acknowledges that President Barack Obama is more interested in his performance as "chief fundraiser" than he is in improving the economy and creating jobs.

Now that billionaire liberal donor Tom Steyer has been exposed, maybe we will hear less about the Koch brothers.

Ed Germond, Apollo Beach

Don't let Koch near integrity of FSU April 20, John Romano column

University integrity at stake

Florida State University should be ashamed and embarrassed for allowing any donor to have veto power over the hiring of any professor.

Allowing Charles Koch, an ultraconservative, this kind of power over the economics department would be akin to allowing the leader of the Christian Scientists to make hiring decisions within the school's medical department.

No public college should allow any interference from any person outside the college administration. Public education should never be for sale to the highest bidder.

Ray Day, Spring Hill


Do you have a gold star yet?

Do you have a gold star on your Florida driver’s license, and are you REAL ID compliant?Florida is a federal REAL ID compliant state, which means that driver’s license and identification cards here meet federal law as to security standards and confir...
Published: 01/22/18

Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Diagnosis by journalist playing doctor

Trump’s sanity grades | Jan. 19, commentaryAn inept journalistic diagnosisI was worried the Tampa Bay Times wouldn’t find someone qualified to rebuke the findings of noted physician Dr. Ronny Jackson. To the rescue came the brilliant Gail Collins...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18