tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
  • Home
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: Government’s role is policing insurance companies

Government’s role

Regarding “Government and health care” (Other Views, Nov. 14): Medical providers don’t and won’t work for the government. They work for the insurance companies.

Have you ever heard of a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) also know as a provider network? In order to see patients with insurance the providers have to sign a contract with a provider network, which is put together by insurance companies.

The most important part of that contract is the fee schedule. The rates allow a profit for the insurance company and the provider network before the provider is ever paid. The reason the Affordable Care Act was written the way it is was to keep the insurance companies in the game. No matter what the provider charges they are only paid what the fee schedule says they will be paid.

Patients are told they can go to any provider, but if they don’t go to an in-network provider the insurance company pays less and the provider has the right to collect the balance from the patient. That won’t change.

In the news recently there have been articles about hospitals that couldn’t come to an agreement with a particular PPO Network. Patients whose insurance companies use that network have to find different hospitals.

The government’s main role in all this is making sure the insurance companies follow the rules and don’t try to revert to past practices, such as dropping the sickest patients.

S.K. Simpson


Health care chaos

Regarding “On ACA, dig beyond a convenient excuse” (Your Views, Nov. 18): What I find hard to grasp is why Obama decided to use a sledge hammer on a healthcare system that worked reasonably well for 90 percent of the population. What was really needed was a tack hammer directed at the minority with no coverage and used to correct the few grievances that existed in some plans.

What we have now is total chaos and getting more dire every day as millions lose the plans that for the most part they wanted and were happy with. Next year, when the “illegal” extension given to corporations kicks in, there will be an even greater flood of people losing coverage as many if not most corporations will decide it is too costly to continue to offer medical coverage.

To put it as plain as possible, what we had up to now was “different strokes for different folks” that worked well. Obama’s one-size-fits-all is a tragic mistake.

Chuck Salzmann

New Port Richey

Scholar and friend

Regarding “Barness made mark on pediatrics, USF” (Metro, Nov. 19): To many, Dr. Barness was a teacher, academician, pediatrician, author, researcher, mentor, Lifetime Achievement winner, member of the Pediatrics Hall of Fame, and to some a real gentleman.

But to many of us interns at the time, he was a practical joker. Many of us would walk the halls of Tampa General Hospital, looking up to see where the ceiling was leaking from, only to find Dr. Barness squirting us with a needleless syringe full of water. We’ll all miss him.

David Lubin, M.D.


What next?

Are Americans growing tired of this “I wasn’t told” president, and his “I’m sorry” administration? How many times have we heard “I take full responsibility,” and then no one is held responsible?

The “you can keep your plan” speech was made over and over again. Surely someone that had actually read the bill would have told the president that that was just not so. So what are we to conclude from this oft-repeated statement? One, he was told and ignored the heads-up because a recant would show that he didn’t know what he was talking about. Or two, no one in this administration, including the president, actually read the bill. What else have we been told about this law that is not so?

Jerrold Cheesbro

Sun City Center

Protect the children

As a great-grandmother, my concern is for our children. How many children have died from drugs; lives ruined, destroyed? Everything has to do with money. If marijuana was legal then the children would not be bothered by drug dealers. The time is now to make a better and safer life for the young. Kennedy said, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

My fellow Americans, ask not what your children can do for you, ask what you can do for your children. Keep our children free of drug dealers, Let moms and dads, the community, the churches, clubs, friends, neighbors, relatives work together to protect our children whom we love so much. They deserve the best.

Jo Ann Crain


Likes attract

I think the Obama administration should contract with Rob Ford, the embattled mayor of Toronto, to be a key spokesman for Obamacare. Likes attract in this case.

Kit Werremeyer


Weather Center