Craig To the editor:
Last month, a close friend of mine had a heart attack. My friend has a job that pays $12 an hour and has no health insurance.
On arriving at the emergency room, he was administered a shot to break the blood clot and was monitored for the next four hours while waiting for the "Flight For Life" to Grand Junction.
While I will forever be in the debt of the ER for saving my friend, I was blown away when I saw his "un-itemized" bill for $10,500. My first thought was that isn't possible, it must include the whole deal. Well, a week later he gets a bill from GJ for $55,000.
OK, how in God's name is he supposed to pay for this? Why over 10K for 5 hours? I've got a problem with these fees.
Our county finances the hospital with funds for those who cannot afford to pay. I would prefer to pay a higher tax to the county to cover fees at the hospital, but does the county realize what the hospital is charging?
I offer up alternative funding for the hospital:
No. 1. Consumption Sales Tax of say .05 to 1.0 percent for 5 years. We are flooded with oil and gas workers and we could sure cash in over these years and the costs would be evenly distributed among everyone.
No. 2 The Memorial Hospital health insurance. I think the hospital could cash in selling their own health insurance if you deal with the local doctors as well as the local hospital. They should do numbers to see if they can insure a family for less than $500/month, again, if treated locally. It should also pay for emergency care elsewhere but just long enough to get you home.
As for my friend, he is back at his $12 an hour job trying to catch up with his mortgage because of his two weeks off work.
We surely have a health care crisis in this country, but I believe with all my heart that Moffat County and The Memorial Hospital could collectively come up with a solution to help provide affordable health care for the citizens of Craig and Moffat County as well as any traveler passing through. You could hang a donation box for them.