Healthcare has been one of the most widely debated issues of our times. It is no secret that the rising costs of healthcare and high unemployment rates have left a tremendous number of our citizens either without insurance or with plans that have extremely high deductibles which cannot be met. These citizens still get sick, and our regional hospitals are obligated, by law, to serve them when they come into our emergency rooms. And, when the bills cannot be paid, the hospitals end up having to write off the debt. Current estimates from administrators at our two hospitals are that they write off between 10% and 15% of their total annual revenue to indigent care each year. Imagine what shape local businesses would be in if that amount of their total revenue (not profit) were written off each year. Most of them would no longer be in operation.
The healthcare issues are extremely complex and I am not an expert in that field. However, we have local healthcare professionals who do understand the challenges and have great ideas on what we can do to improve the system and ensure the long term viability of our hospitals. As the Representative for our district, I will ensure that the voices of our local and regional healthcare partners are heard and support or introduce legislation that will provide the needed relief for our healthcare systems.