I want to bring your readers to the attention of an article printed on 9/24/13 concerning healthcare and jobs in our community.
This should have been front page news! The article entitled “Messer urges rejection of Administration hospital plan,” informs us that there are proposed changes under the Obama administration regarding Medicare payments to critical access hospitals (CAH). CAHs are small rural hospitals that meet certain federal guidelines and include DCMH, Rush Memorial, and Margaret Mary to name a few.
Messer reports that these changes in Medicare payments will jeopardize the viability of these safety net hospitals. Some may think the closing of a small, rural hospital such as DCMH would not have an impact on the community. Think again. Its closing would force some to go further distances for care causing an inconvenience and financial hardship. There would also be delays in care during emergencies. Yes, the county has an excellent volunteer EMS however; they are not set up to provide advanced cardiac life support that the ambulance service and the emergency room have available. There are many other services that the hospital provides that would be missed such as multiple clinical and rehabilitation services, immunization clinics, support groups, health education, and the support they give Decatur County through wellness fairs and charity efforts. There is a negative economic influence as well. With hundreds of employees at DCMH, a financial loss would inevitably be felt throughout the community.
The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) is not something whose negative impacts will only be felt elsewhere. Its effects will affect everyone, everywhere. Educate yourself about how the ACA and other legislation will impact you. Write your Congressmen as you feel necessary.