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PAGE 4 THE FLORALA NEWS- WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2015 The Florala News'editorial section is intended to provide our readers and citizens as com- plete an opportunity to express themselves with as few restrictions as possible, Profanity, direct or implied, and attacks on one's person rather than on actions or deeds are not ac- ceptable. Publication on this page in NO WAY REFLECTS AGREEMENT OR ENDORSE- MENT BY THIS NEWSPAPER. . 11 l by Ron Kelley Regarding the hospitals listed in his report, An- at rates that are actually below the costs of deliv- Recently, a spate of news articles have appeared derson said, "They are price-gouging because they ering the care." in various national media, including The Atlantic can. They are marking up the prices because no She said the charges have reached high amounts magazine, Yahoo News and the Washington Post, one is telling them they can't." because hospitals are trying to recover some of the regarding hospital charges and overcharges in the According to the Anderson-Bai report, the top losses they incur, through poor reimbursements. U.S. The stories are based on a study by Gerard offender in the "United States is North Okaloosa Hospitals routinely give away millions of dollars Anderson, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Medical Center in Crestview with an overcharge each year in free medical care, usually through School of Public Health, and Ge Bai, of Washing- rate of 1,260 percent. Other area hospitals on emergency departments. ton and Lee University. the list are Fort Walton Beach Medical Center at Healthmark Regional Medical Center in De- The results of the Anderson-Bai study report 1,060 percent, Gulf Coast Regional Medical Cen- Funiak Springs did not make the list. Historically, that 50 U.S. hospitals charged uninsured patients ter in Panama City at 980 percent and Twin Cities Healthmark has maintained some of the lowest an average of 10 times more than they should have Hospital in Niceville at 950 percent, rates in Florida and at one point, had the lowest to provide medical care in 2012. This equates to However, Kerry McKean Kelly, vice presidentrates in the state. a patient whose treatment should have cost $100, of communications and member services for the Healthmark Chief of Operations Gerald Beard having to pay $1,000. New Jersey Hospital Association, said the study said, "We work hard to keep our prices as low as The report was initially published in Health 0nly looked at hospital charges and not what hos- possible because we believe that receiving quality Affairs, a printed and online journal for medical pitals are actually paid by individuals and insur- health care should not bankrupt a person. Health policy and research, launched in 1981. The report ance companies. She noted only about five percent care is inherently expensive and yet we know that found that all but one of the hospitals was a for- of patients are billed at the "charges" rate. people are going to be injured, they are going to profit operation. Forty percent of them (20) are lo- "HMOs, insurance plans, Medicare and Medicaid get sick and have health problems that require our cated in Florida. Most of the hospitals are owned in general, pay hospitals at rates that are much, attention. Our bill should not make them sick, too. by large corporations, such as Community Health much lower than those posted charges," Kelly said. So we keep our rates low. The people we serve need Systems, which operates half of the 50 hospitals, "One of the challenges that hospitals face is that quality care at affordable rates and that's what we and Hospital Corporation of America, which oper- key payers like Medicare, Medicaid, and New Jer- deliver every day." ates 14 of the hospitals on the list. sey's charity care program all reimburse hospitals l I It also gives Congress a chance to flex its muscles relies on means-tested tax credits instead of sub- with a new "Patient CARE" law sidies to make it affordable. Hatch and Burr have "Congress has an opportunity to flex its muscles gotten the support of Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, by moving forward with a plan to replace Obama- the powerful House Energy and Commerce Com- care with a law that actually enhances access to mittee Chairman to move forward with their pro- healthcare. The Supreme Court's ruling that al- posal, which some experts say is not only viable lows insurance subsidies offered by Federal ex- but superior to the ACA. changes must not disrupt plans to enact a new The Center for Health and Economy endorsed law that is equitable and efficient," according to the Patient CARE proposal. Despite the fact that Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature it does not include mandates for individuals or American Citizens. employers, the Center noted that "by 2023, the "President Obama's Supreme Court victory may number of insured under the proposal is estimated be short-lived. It will certainly invigorate the Re- to be one percent higher than under current law publicans as the party pursues ownership of the [Obamacare]." White House in 2016. It is already a key issue for Healthcare expert Avik Roy wrote in Forbes candidates, but today's decision may well catapult magazine last year that "in addition, the plan it to a top issue in the Presidential Election cam- would reduce the deficit over ten years by a total paign. And, since Obamacare has already proven of $1,473 billion. The biggest chunk of the deficit itself to be ineffective and inefficient and a blatant- reduction comes from changing the tax treatment ly disruptive influence on the country's economy, of employer-sponsored health insurance." It does the ruling might be just what is needed to ensure this, he said, by eliminating the tax deduction for a Republican victory in November 2016. And that healthcare insurance. will, in turn, finally allow Congress and the new In a more recent article, Roy pointed out that President to repeal Obamacare and to replace it a means-tested tax credit would allow individuals with a law that works and t~hat is devoid of social- "to buy a far broader range of insurance products, ist concepts of government." or deposit the funds in a health savings account. The court's ruling should "bolster" those law- The tax credits would also be available to those makers who seek to repeal and replace Obamacare. who today are on Medicaid, freeing them to pur- A likely choice to replace the present law is called chase private health coverage with superior health the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, outcomes." and Empowerment [Patient CARE] Act. There are Other benefits of the proposed Patient CARE a variety of healthcare proposals in Congress and Act include medical malpractice reform, medical it is likely that a final proposal will include many care price transparency, premium stability and the new and productive provisions Such as those in the ability to purchase insurance across state lines. Patient CARE proposal. AMAC's Weber said that the senior advocacy "Mr. Obama's controversial Affordable Care Act organization endorses the free-market principles is flawed. It has caused widespread hardship for of the Burr, Hatch, Upton alternative to Obamac- the country on many levels since it was enacted, are. "A lot of detractors have sought to denigrate We need to scrap Obamacare and start over again the so-called Obamacare repeal-and-replace move- to create a healthcare law that is fair and equi- ment in Congress. They claim there's no other table and that won,t bankrupt the country. And, way to deliver affordable healthcare but the way the Patient CARE Act seems to fit the bill," Weber President Obama has dictated. But, the Patient said. CARE Act proves them wrong, big time. Here's The proposed alternative to Obamacare was cre- a viable alternative that actuall~ lets people keep ated by Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and Richard their doctors, that protects their religious freedom Burr of North Carolina along with retired Senator and that make healthcare insurance accessible Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. It provides a highly re- instead of a law that creates inequities and inef- garded alternative to the Affordable Care Act that ficiencies." II Editor, down from the White House, the statehouse, to the Being aware of the wide spread audience of The Courthouse. Only an "ostrich" attitude keeps one Florala News (every body reads it!) I want to exo from reading the God-given warnings revealing press my opinion on something of the utmost im- God's displeasure in America and the world today. portance. My judgement is not toward individuals We're seeing severe drought in places and just a but society as a whole, not to condemn but to alert, few miles away severe flooding. Famine, outbreak My words are based on instructions found in the of uncureable diseases, sinkholes, mudslide.s, tor- Bible in Ezekiel chapter 33, verses 1-11 and Ro- nadoes, erupting volcanos, earth quakes (even in mans chapter 13, verse 11. Unquoted here but to West Alabama and north Florida). Wholesale mur- be read at your convenience. The national news is der by the thousands, and the list goes on! I think full this week of the result of the carelessness of all creation is reacting to the world's moral condi- guards and sentrys of a New York prison, tion! Just this week the Supreme Court of America I base my words on the above named scripture has passed the latest of their interpretation of our references. Wake up, America. Danger is fast ap- God-given constitution that, in my opinion, places proaching. To a great extent the true church is at America directly on Almighty God's hit list. I base fault for not sounding the alarm from the look out my opinion on God's reaction to similar situations position God has placed her in for such a time as as seen in Genesis chapter six and chapter nine- this. teen. God never changes. He is the same yesterday, Carnal man may Change, amend, revise God's today, and forever. Since when has God needed word today but God's original version will be used less than perfect Supreme Court judges to revise, as the rule book at the final judgement. And that amend, and make changes to His perfect law? is a definite set date in the near future. All will be My remarks are not directed toward persons there. WAKE UP AMERICA! but society as a whole. It is obvious that Ameri- /s! George Scroggins ca is suffering from poor leadership all the way The Florala News - The Association of Mature American Citizens [http: / /www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital and con- servative alternative to those drganizations, such as AARP, that dominate the choices for mature Americans who want a say in the future of the na- tion. i ...... 27 58 d'sh Make the Switch to Dish Today and Save Up To 500/0 Call Now and Ask How! 1-800-318-5121 (all 7 days a week 8am- llpm [ST Pt0m0 Code: ~0113 24 5O 65 ,C' StalcPmnt N[,adia THEME: 21st Century ACROSS 1. Audition tapes 6. More of the same 9. Sound of astonishment 13. Incompetent 14. Ancient Chinese state and major Chinese river 15. Root of iris 16. Japanese-American 17. ENT's first concern 18. *Hurricane Jeanne's Greater Antilles victim, 2004 19. *Sudan's troubled re- gion 21. Pamper and indulge 23. " the President's Men," movie 24. *Obama 25. *Kendrick Lamar's genre 28. __ a Sketch toy 30. Antietam happening 35. 'Tm !" 37. Caviar and Wade's op- ponent 39. *"Mad Men" star Hamm completed it in real life 40. Wine 41. Saints' lights 43. Japanese restaurant staple 44. Run off together 46. Opposite of knit 47. Facial treatment 48. Eye part 50. It prevents objectivity 52. __ Angelico 53. A in BA 55. One who follows teach- ings of Lao-tzu 57. *Subject of Russia/ Ukraine dispute 60. *Modern self-portrait 63. Trouser fabric 64. Old French coin 66. Type of island 68. "Mad" fortl~ 69. Habitual twitch 70. High IQ society 71. End of grace 72. Member of a "benevo- lent and protective order" 73. Picture within a picture, e.g. 3. Verde National Park 4. Verdi's output 5. Smother or suppress 6. Type of pitcher 7. * Party 8. Approximately, as in date 9. Obama to Harvard Law School 10. Seed coat 11. www.google.com, e.g. 12. Tire measurement 15. " , !" said Pig- let 20. Extremist 22. Scepter's partner 24. Duo at the Sistine Ma- donna's feet 25. *Mars vehicle 26. Feeble old woman 27. Can be noir or griio 29. *Egyptian d'Etat 31. Short-term employee 32. *These days, he often steals identities 33. Light acronym 34. *Cause of 2014 global health scare 36. Large African antelope 38. Delhi dress 42. Fill With spirits 45. Bewitch 49. Am is to I as is to we 51. sandwich meat 54. Gustatory sensation 56. More than occasional 57. *"Pawn Stars" employee nickname 58. Frost residue 59. Involved in a secret 60. Draw in, as in air 61. Charged particles 62. Other than what's im- plied 63. It's repeated 2 or 3 times to form dance name 65. *Gulf polluter 67. Back muscle, for short last week's solution DOWN 1 : Clamor 2. Children's author Blyton i ji.