Fraud & insurance companies
Worker compensation insurance companies charge high premiums and do not want to take care of a truly injured worker. They would rather pay out tens of thousands of dollars to attorneys to interrupt the healing of an injured worker. They also rather string out the process in hopes that the injured worker will get fed up and give into them. Or they stalk and film the injured worker. That is fraud.
In my case, I was hurt on the job June of 2003. I had 2 surgeries and requested a new doctor. My new doctor requested an MRI, CT scan and X-rays due to the fact I was still having problems. The insurance company, Zurich, told my doctor that he could not touch me just talk and give pain pills. It took six or seven months to get in front of the judge. The judge ordered the tests! As a result of the tests the doctor requested surgery. But Zurich refused again. This time they hired a company to stalk me to try to film me. The second judge threw out these films. But what a waste of money!
Well, finally I had my third surgery, but my doctor had to do three procedures at one time, because the insurance company told him they would only approve one surgery. Now the insurance company does not want to approve all the physical therapy requested.
They get paid their premiums and need to stop harassing injured workers. It is fraud for them to collect the money they do for the policies and then play these games.

Warren O. Davis Jr.
Via e-mail

Thrilled but Shore not first
We are thrilled with Debra Shore’s win but Judge Sebastian Patti is the first openly gay person to win a countywide race in Cook County, not Shore as reported in “Illinois primary yields new challenges” (PWW 4/1-7). Judicial candidate Mike McHale also won countywide in the primary. He was not only slated by the Cook County Democrats he was also unopposed and is unopposed in the general election in November.
Debra Shore has given many of us faith in the system. She ran an excellent campaign and did everything she needed to do to win. This was an excellent election cycle for the gay community in Chicago.

Rick Garcia
Via e-mail
Rick Garcia is the political
director for Equality Illinois.

For the record
I would like to correct a serious error in “Sago survivor home, mine safety battle continues” (PWW 4/8-14). In the final paragraph, you write: “On May 2 the state of West Virginia will hold a public hearing in Buckhannon to get answers to questions about the lack of action by MSHA and the coal companies to protect miners, and to determine the cause of the Sago Mine explosion.”
The May 2 public hearing is a joint effort by both West Virginia and the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. In fact, the entire investigatory process has been a joint effort from the start. The purpose of the hearing is to get answers about the Sago explosion. Also, please note that not only does MSHA enforce mine safety and health laws in West Virginia mines; West Virginia has its own state enforcement office that has similar responsibilities for keeping miners safe. We would appreciate a correction.

Amy Louviere
Arlington VA
Amy Louviere is a spokeswoman for the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Editor’s note: Thank you Rick Garcia and Amy Louviere. We stand corrected.

New Orleans needs tourism
Thank you for your continued coverage of New Orleans. There is so much work still to be done, and keeping us in your readers’ minds is crucial.
Our tourism-based economy has suffered a severe blow, yet there is a duality to New Orleans that makes it a must-see for anyone planning a vacation. The French Quarter is virtually untouched, the Garden District is pristine, eclectic Magazine Street, Faubourg Marigny and the Bywater historic districts are hopping with activity.
Visitors could come to New Orleans now and not see a thing wrong, but the large area of destruction is a trip they should not miss. Our world-class restaurants, galleries, music joints, and especially our wonderful small hotels are all ready for you to come now! Many of our attractions are small businesses, owned and operated by New Orleanians who are suffering greatly. With no financial aid forthcoming for the thousands of small businesses which are the very heart of what makes the traditional “New Orleans experience” so unique, most are hanging on by a thread. We are counting on the return of our visitors to keep us going.

Joanne Hilton
New Orleans LA
Joanne Hilton is the innkeeper of St. Charles Guest House.

Worse in Texas than reported
I had to find out too much the hard way in Texas. Do you know about the TMAPS — the Texas Medication Algorithm Project plan that started with G.W. Bush as he frivolously served citizens of Texas as governor? Illinois is piloting a spin off of the plan through what’s called Freedom Initiative (another Bush gift to “big pharma”).
Major news providers are not reporting the findings of Allen Jones, an investigator for the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General, who lost his job after reporting all the conflicts of interests, harms and frauds associated with TMAPS.
You may wonder why Medicare benefits are being cut, while billions of dollars are spent on drugs that harm and kill our elderly and children. Please inform to make a difference.

Brenda Durant
Via e-mail

France’s left leadership
Mark Weisbrot’s “Labor law ‘reform’ in France” (PWW 4/8-14) gives a good economic basis for why millions are in the streets protesting the Chirac law.
In the April 1 issue of The Economist, “Leaders: France Faces the Future” puts another side to the issue. In describing the impact of globalization they cite a poll that stated that, while “71 percent of Americans, 66 percent of the British and 65 percent of Germans agreed that the free market was the best system available, the number in France was just 36 percent.”
The main variable which contributes to this kind of class consciousness is the historic role of the French Communist Party and the CGT, the largest and most left of the labor federations. Both of these mass organizations are playing a leading role in today’s struggle in France.

Phil E. Benjamin
Brooklyn NY