Thursday, May 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: PIP bill increases stress on emergency rooms

House panel approves PIP overhaul | Jan. 11

Bill would increase stress on emergency rooms

As expected, the paranoia fueled by the insurance lobby concerning the need for PIP reform has caused the Florida Legislature to take leave of its collective senses, common or otherwise.

The latest House proposal would require anyone injured in an auto accident to seek treatment at a hospital emergency room within 72 hours or risk denial of future PIP benefits for subsequent treatment.

Beautiful. Let's increase the stress on emergency rooms already overburdened by patients (often without health insurance) who use ERs for their primary care needs. All under the guise of assuaging the cries of rampant PIP fraud by insurance giants such as State Farm and Allstate.

The truth is that insurance providers already investigate suspicious claims, and should their own doctors advise that additional care is unnecessary, further PIP financed treatment is denied.

Monte Stevens, the legislative affairs director for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, has stated that this most recent proposal "takes the biggest step in stamping out PIP fraud." Tell that to the parent of a feverish child whose wait for treatment in the local emergency room has just gotten much longer.

Robert E. Heyman, St. Petersburg

UF spurs innovation, jobs Jan. 8, commentary

Creating jobs for veterans

As a sixth-generation Floridian, I attended college in Florida and then left the state to pursue my master's degree. I returned in January 2011 after serving several years in the U.S. Marine Corps with a combat tour in Afghanistan. During my six-year absence, Floridians elected a new governor and new legislators, and the nation inherited new economic issues that left a plethora of my fellow veterans jobless.

As I look back on my first year out of the military, I recall countless business leaders, legislators, recent college graduates and educators discussing the need to come together to brainstorm and find ways to create jobs in our great state.

Those conversations led to at least one concrete example of progress: On Jan. 11, the University of Florida held a dedication ceremony for the Florida Innovation Hub, an incubator for start-up companies whose technologies emanated from laboratories at UF and throughout the state. Leaders hope to bring research discoveries to the marketplace and create additional jobs for Floridians.

Other universities are pursuing projects similar to the Florida Innovation Hub. This type of cohesive effort has made me proud to come home to my native state of Florida and to know that there are opportunities for war veterans who aspire to return to the state after having served their country.

Jamal Sowell, Orlando

$200 million verdict came without a defense Jan. 14

Legal system run amok

This article is a major answer to the question, "Who is responsible for the very high cost of health care in America?" The plain answer is the legal system in America today: the jury, the lawyer and the judge.

I feel sorry for the woman, but $200 million for her estate is, honestly, sickening. And, as much as I dislike defense lawyers, what in our legal system let a decision of this magnitude take place without a defense?

Bob Wolfe, Sun City Center

Restore staffing levels

As a nursing home caregiver, I was deeply saddened when I learned of this heartbreaking death, which could have been prevented. This was a tragic end to the life of an elderly woman whose care was in the hands of others. These are the types of accidents that can take place when patient loads are too high and caregivers are pulled in too many directions at once.

Last year, staffing levels were cut and, as a result, the health and safety of nursing home residents are at risk. We must restore staffing levels. Our elders deserve to be protected from harm and to live their lives out with dignity.

Jean Berg, CNA, Hudson

Bricks and mortar vs. wheels and steel Jan. 14

Something to chew on

The concept of food trucks is very cool. However, there are serious issues regarding fairness. If you have ever opened a restaurant, you very quickly become aware of the plethora of rules and regulations that can cost literally tens of thousands of dollars to comply with. ADA-rated bathrooms, for instance. Food trucks don't have them, so where do their customers go to wash up? There is also the issue of property taxes and rent sales tax.

Some successful restaurants contribute heavily to local charities and causes. Do they make money? Some certainly do, and hats off to them for that. Most don't, and the entrepreneurs who fail lose a significant sum.

The devil is in the details, and I appreciate the City Council thinking this through more thoroughly.

Scott Wagman, St. Petersburg

Fight to the death and beyond | Jan. 13

A display of goodness

Finally, a story I could read that would not bring terror and fright to my doorstep. I have been so weary of the constant assault to my psyche from the bad news that is presented from national, local and regional news that I hardly want to read the paper in the morning. I do not bury my head in the sand, but I do need balance.

Jeanene Arrington is a woman with a heart, a conscience and an innate spirit to do what is right. She is an obvious lover of the beauty of natural creation. She sought a solution to help a helpless animal.

Thank you for showing us that there is real goodness in people. We need more stories that will uplift us.

Norene Dagly, St. Petersburg

Obama seeks power to combine agencies Jan. 14

Thinking small

The article on President Barack Obama's plan to combine six agencies calls the expected $3 billion savings over 10 years "aggressive." Given that the government will spend well over $30 trillion in that time, maybe "embarrassing" is more like it.

And seeing as how the federal workforce has grown by about 150,000 in the last three years, how is a reduction of "1,000 to 2,000 jobs" even significant? More than that many retire every year.

Ernest Lane, Trinity


Wednesday’s letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation MonthThanks, jurors, for your serviceTrial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litigants would ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18