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Letters to the editor 2-15-2013

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Health care action

The 2013 Legislative Session begins in three weeks. Two weeks ago, the governor released his budget recommendations, which yet again contain cuts in payments to Florida hospitals for the care of low income families, children, the elderly and the disabled. This is just one of many challenges facing us in the upcoming Legislative Session. Yet, the biggest health care policy decision Florida faces was not addressed in the governor’s budget because that decision will be up to the Legislature.

Florida’s state senators and representatives must decide on implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and, more specifically, the decision on whether to extend health care coverage to nearly one million uninsured Floridians. Also on the table are changes to the way hospitals are paid through the Medicaid program, a variety of other regulatory matters and the constant potential for bad ideas like mandatory contracting to creep back into the legislative process.

Securing coverage for an additional one million Floridians is a key strategic objective. Therefore, it was critical to secure the resources necessary to make the strongest case. With that in mind, Florida Hospital Association (FHA) took up an offer to partner with the American Hospital Association (AHA) to work for the implementation of PPACA. At the direction of the FHA Board, they applied for, and were awarded, a grant from AHA to assist with a campaign to extend health care coverage in Florida.

Very soon, FHA will introduce a statewide grassroots campaign to educate lawmakers on the benefits of extending health care coverage through PPACA and the impact this decision will have on our patients, communities and the economic well-being of our state.

In addition to the above actions, Munroe and other hospitals are also working together with the AHA to further educate our Congressional leadership on the challenges healthccare would face if they were to support proposals that would further reduce Medicare and Medicaid funding for hospital services.

Steve Purves

President & CEO

Munroe Regional Medical Center

 

Road designations

Loved your article about the state’s system of reporting using their highway numbers instead of the numbers we all recognize.

Only our government could mess it up this badly. Ask anyone to tell you the four points on a compass and they’ll all say, North, South, East and West so when they numbered the mile markers and exits on the interstate system why in the world did they number them from the South, North, West and East.

Al Pitts

Cherrywood Estates