To the editor:
Lawrence taxpayers may wish to join me in posing these questions to the Heartland Medical Clinic regarding its announced expansion to include the treatment of patients who have health insurance or private means to cover the costs of their treatment.
1. What is the ethical rationale for a nonprofit tax-exempt religious organization to enter into competition with local professional health care providers?
2. What expenses will be included in calculating the actual costs of providing the proposed health care services? Since the director of the enlarged clinic will presumably be the minister of Heartland Community Church, will all or a portion of his salary be included in the clinic's expenses? Will other services, equipment or facilities provided by Heartland Community Church or its staff be included in the clinic's expenses? How will fees be determined for the different categories of patients?
3. What accounting methods and procedures will be used to determine the balance between revenues and expenditures for the purpose of determining the clinic's nonprofit status?
4. Will the clinic's budgets, fee schedules and annual reports be open for inspection by Lawrence taxpayers?
5. What will be the clinic's policy regarding religious orientation provided in conjunction with health care services?
In my view, tax-exempt organizations have special responsibilities that are not shared by taxpaying businesses or institutions. My questions relate to those special responsibilities.