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February 2, 2023

Letter: Hospital poised for a great fall

What happens when Humpty Dumpty falls off the wall and all the king’s men and all the king’s horses can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again? Think for a moment that Humpty Dumpty represents our hospital, the wall is the Health Care District, and the king’s retinue is the taxpayers. The hospital is represented by a broken egg because like the egg it is broken, leaking all the funds.

Everyone in San Benito County wants the hospital. For instance, just the Emergency Room is very busy on a daily basis. Dr. Bogey, the ER Physician, reports that many are alive today because of this ER. Those entering the ER experiencing heart attacks are quickly diagnosed and stabilized with IVs and proper drugs before airlifted to another institution. Those suffering severe headaches and dizziness must be evaluated for head injury or stroke and treated appropriately.

Many patients come with severe bleeding from animal wounds during cattle branding or hunting accidents. Their lives are saved. People present in a coma. Quick diagnosis must differentiate among a diabetic I, diabetic II coma or head injury or stroke.  

These are a few examples of lives saved in the Emergency Room of our hospital.

No one wants to hang a price on a life, so who pays for our healthcare? Taxpayers pay twice, through property taxes and health insurance. Unfortunately, insurance companies underpay their bills from the hospital. Yearly property tax funds amount to about $2.6 million. However, the hospital needs $10 million. 

With top executives well paid, how did such dire outcomes happen? It seems the county board would like transparency concerning expenditures. Recent building and land purchases come to mind, along with the functioning of the clinics locally and in San Juan Bautista.  

The king’s men and horses are explained with one glaring omission. Who is the king? The king holds maximum premium funds. The king is the insurance companies who want more. The insurance companies made the call, so Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Let’s not let the king himself get away. The king is the insurance companies whose profits increase every year.  Controlling their greed would help eliminate this problem. 

Mary Zanger

Hollister

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