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Archive for Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Letter: Hospital threat

January 9, 2013

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To the editor:

As a medical student hoping to one day return to work as a family doctor in rural Kansas, I am normally encouraged by the amount of support our state offers to students like me who recognize the enormous need for primary care in most Kansas communities.

However, I am gravely concerned about Gov. Brownback’s unwillingness to accept Medicaid expansion money offered through the Affordable Care Act. Not only would this decision put our state’s rural hospitals at risk of going bankrupt, it would also discourage medical students like me returning home to work.

Because each state has the opportunity to insure more of its citizens through Medicaid expansion, federal reimbursements normally given to hospitals for treating uninsured patients are scheduled to disappear. Today, a majority of these funds go to rural hospitals. Thus they stand to be hit the hardest! Without access to new Medicaid dollars, rural hospitals will be unable to make up for their losses and will be forced to close their doors.

I am up for many challenges in my career as a rural family doctor, but working in a community where the nearest hospital is more than three hours away is NOT one of them.

I understand Brownback has some concerns about the state’s eventual financial responsibilities with the Medicaid expansion, but I hope he will recognize the much greater cost to our rural communities and its hospitals should he refuse to do so.

Comments

toe 1 year, 3 months ago

I do feel sorry for this medical student. His government fed gravy train seems to be in peril.

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bearded_gnome 1 year, 3 months ago

one new poster, years ago, shocked by Merrill's postings, wondered if he was actually liberal software that just kept spamming the boards with liberal spam.

more recently, someone wondered if Merrill had a wife. well, he does, he also has two cycle lawn mowers, too. google his past postings, and you find he praised those who were blowing up our soldiers in Iraq in '06-'07.
a look at his past postings shows he promotes some amazing activities.
and he actually likes broken streets bcause they serve as passive traffic calming devices.
oh yeah, he endorsed John Edwards for president, too.

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bearded_gnome 1 year, 3 months ago

Dear Ms. Jenny Maciaszek, ; Obamacare rips 15pc right off the top from nursing homes and rural hospitals medicare coverage in the 700+billion it steals from medicare. yes, that's really in there. 700+billion $s taken from Medicare and tossed into obamacare. this will result in closure of many rural hospitals. this is only one of several onerous burdens weighing heavily on rural populations.

the american college of cardiology stated that already obamacare is forcing doctors to quit private practice, again not good for rural america.

Mr. Brownback is properly representing Kansas citizens' best interests.

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Liberty275 1 year, 3 months ago

Look at the bright side, this isn't New York so you can just prescribe some oxycodone to the guy that fell of his bike and broke his arm, after you set his arm of course. That's like $4 plus a $100 copay at the hospital. Back east., to quote the mayor of new york, "so you didn’t get enough painkillers and you did have to suffer a little bit".

What is worse, a governor letting the federal government handle federal law or a mayor telling doctors how to treat patients?

You don't see the enemy yet, but you will.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

When Kansas refuses to accept bringing tax dollars home to care for Kansas residents that which provide those tax dollars we taxpayers may become part of a golden opportunity.

That golden opportunity might be in the form of Medicare Single Payer Insurance which in my opinion would be the most fiscal responsible approach. Yes it does bypass the medical insurance industry and it also provides insurance that would be considered affordable. Obviously this insurance coverage does not require reinventing any wheels = high dollar savings.

Improved Medicare Single Payer Insurance for All is part of the solution.

  • Easy to Implement: Medicare has been in existence since 1966, it provides healthcare to those 65 and older, and satisfaction levels are high. The structure is already in place and can be easily expanded to cover everyone.

  • Simple: One entity – established by the government – would handle billing and payment at a cost significantly lower than private insurance companies. Private insurance companies spend about 31% of every healthcare dollar on administration. Medicare now spends about 3%.

  • Real Choice: An expanded and improved Medicare for All would provide personal choice of doctors and other healthcare providers. While financing would be public, providers would remain private. As with Medicare, you choose your doctor, your hospital, and other healthcare providers.

  • State and Local Tax Relief: Medicare for All would assume the costs of healthcare delivery, thus relieving the states and local governments of the cost of healthcare, including Medicaid, and as a result reduce State and local tax burdens.

  • Expanded coverage: Would cover all medically necessary healthcare services – no more rationing by private insurance companies. There would be no limits on coverage, no co-pays or deductibles, and services would include not only primary and specialized care but also prescription drugs, dental, vision, mental health services, and long-term care.

  • Everyone In, Nobody Out: Everyone would be eligible and covered. No longer would doctors ask what insurance you have before they treat you.

  • No More Overpriced Private Health Insurance: Medicare for All would eliminate the need for private health insurance companies who put profit before healthcare, unfairly limit choice, restrict who gets coverage, and force people into bankruptcy.

  • Lower Costs: Most people will pay significantly less for healthcare. Savings will be achieved in reduced administrative costs and in negotiated prices for prescription drugs.

Physicians for a National Health Program http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-resources

Also: http://www.healthcare-now.org/

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Lawrence Morgan 1 year, 3 months ago

Yes, Jenny, your letter is right to the point.

And I completely agree that Laus_Deo needs to speak of things in detail, or not to speak until he has something to say. He always writes the same thing, over and over again! To me -- as I see it again and again in Journal World comments columns -- it almost sounds racist. It doesn't make any sense, and it is a waste of time to even see his words - always the same- in print, when there are such important things we can and should talk about.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 3 months ago

Let Rural Kansas die. They elect these clowns. It's their own fault.

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Laus_Deo 1 year, 3 months ago

Dobama(the D is silent, doesn't have any money Jenny. Not until Bernanki stamps the trillion dollar coin will he have money to spend.

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NENEGIRL 1 year, 3 months ago

that would be National Health Service Corps...

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NENEGIRL 1 year, 3 months ago

Jenny please look into the National Health Service Coprs. It may be able to help you financially as a practitioner in a rural community. It was a wonderful thing for me and my family. And YES... resisting Healthcare Rerform will only do harm...

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lucky_guy 1 year, 3 months ago

Sorry Jenny, but Brownie is all about having kansans drive for services. Remember when he was going to close the DG CO SRS offices because there was a good road to Topeka? Well this is the same. That broken leg can wait till you get to Dodge City what is the problem? Or if you have insurance we can send out a helicopter for you and charge you $8K to take you to Wichita, we'll be happy to do that.
Don't expect ignorant people to run healthcare in KS. You get what vote for.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 3 months ago

Wow, I can finally agree with Merrill. He is absolutely right. Taking our tax dollars and then funneling them back to hospitals (corporation) in the form of medicaide payments (subsidy) is wrong. Corporations, including hospitals should not be propped up by the government. End corporate welfare. And yes, I mean all - petroleum, energy, farm and others.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

Privatization is money laundering

Privatization funnels YOUR TAX DOLLARS and MINE into the corporate bank accounts. THIS IS A CORPORATE ENTITLEMENT. Billions and trillions of tax dollars caught the eye of corporate America = easy and guaranteed profits guided by fascist politicians.

Now the corporation becomes dependent on government in addition to skimming tax dollars off the top which get laundered into :

CEO pay packages Golden Parachutes Shareholders GOP special interest campaign cookie jars

Yes our tax dollars are now getting spent recklessly instead of efficiently.

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