State-run insurance can work
Should Citizens be the insurer of first resort? | Column, Jan. 12
Back in the 1980s, my wife and I were newly graduated dentists starting our own practice in Palm Harbor. At the time, insurance corporations were the only place to get malpractice insurance. The premiums escalated every year with double-digit increases. This was becoming a burden, and the dental societies and legislators were noticing. The result of this was that the state started a company to write dental malpractice insurance much like Citizens is to homeowners. After purchasing these policies, our premiums went down for several years and finally stabilized at an acceptable rate. I agree with the author’s assessment. When you remove corporate profits and financial shenanigans, state-run insurance is a viable alternative. Citizens has easily accessible financial statements for download. From what I can tell they made $80 million profit last year and have a reserve of $9 billion. Not too shabby.
Ken Cohen, St. Petersburg
I honor New College
Leave New College alone | Letter, Jan. 13
This letter writer is on the spot. In the 1960s, I applied to New College of Florida and was not accepted. I knew the competition was steep because I also knew the college was pulling from all over the world for the coveted placements. I also knew that the instructors were some of the best minds in their fields and education. To this day, I try to attend their public offerings as I live relatively close. And yes, I did get to attend all three of Florida’s fine institutions of learning throughout my life: UF, USF and FSU. As a retired science educator, I still look at New College as one of our premier colleges in the nation and appreciate what our state schools afforded me.
Paula F. McQuillan, Tampa
A little Florida fantasy
Chamber of Commerce weather
A recent day was the kind of day that has drawn so many to Florida from the colder northern climates. It was sunny with virtually a cloudless sky and a soothing 10 mph breeze blowing. I felt that my decision to move to Florida had been validated. I went to our wellness center and walked for one hour on the treadmill. As I walked, I looked out at the beautiful sunny day that Gov. Ron DeSantis had provided us. Then I realized that the governor must have “Sun Police” who were probably out looking for old fools like me who were staying inside on this beautiful day he made for us. I immediately returned to my home, donned swimming trunks and hooked my bluetooth speaker up on my screened porch with Chet Atkins playing guitar music. I spread baby oil on the wrinkled crevices of my 86-year-old body, grabbed a 16-ounce Coors Light and my sunglasses and lay back in the sun for an hour and 15 minutes enjoying this “Chamber of Commerce Day.” Just as I came inside, I heard a knock on my door. Still wearing my swim trunks, I answered the door. Lo and behold. It was the “Sun Police” checking on me. I displayed my slightly burned protruding belly and got their approval to remain in Florida for a while longer. I watched as that sorrowful bus pulled away with a lot of senior “sun violators” sobbing as they began the long journey north.
James Stuart-Emery, Valrico
End our failed Cuba policy
What is behind the growing exodus of Cuban migrants? | Jan. 6
This article falls short, failing to ask: Why does the U.S. persist in a failed, 64-year-old policy, originally designed to topple Fidel Castro? Instituted at the tail-end of McCarthyism’s hatred of all things “Communist,” our pose seems maintained to placate the remnants and heirs of those who voluntarily fled the Castro regime and hope, fruitlessly, to regain their property and businesses in Cuba, including agricultural and gambling interests. We openly trade with Vietnam, and even former President Donald Trump made overtures to North Korea — two clearly Communist regimes with far worse human rights records than Cuba’s, and both countries which killed thousands of American military in violent wars. That’s something Cuba has never done. Even major foes like Germany and Japan have seemingly been “forgiven” for their past behavior. What is truly behind the current exodus is the fantasy driving the U.S.-led isolation of Cuba and the economic disaster that isolation has brought about. The real question to be asked is, “Why is the U.S. being so irrational in its anti-Cuba policy?”
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Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg