Letter: Expect rising health care prices with Mission Health purchase

Graphic by Lori Deaton

If the proposed transfer of the nonprofit Mission Health system to the for-profit Nashville megacorporation, HCA, is completed, Asheville and its surrounding communities will lose control of a vital and excellent health care resource.

The proposed money and power grab by nonprofit insiders, corporate outsiders, financial underwriters and city mothers/fathers (the crazed clique on the City Council) will undermine this fine institution and set the scene for large health care price increases. Such increases are inevitable when income streams from health care services are diverted to a supposed “community” foundation, to the city coffers to further the City Council’s flagrant and unproductive spending initiatives, to securities underwriters who will immediately “earn” large fees for underwriting the debt for this purchase and to the stockholders of the corporation who will expect and deserve a return on their investments. The net result will be less money available to continue the quality care that Mission Health offers.

If you want to see monies diverted to crony individuals, groups and political supporters of the city establishment/government (new property tax revenues), you will be happy with this new arrangement. I can hardly wait to see who makes up the new “board” of the Dogwood [Health Trust] foundation that would be cut in for a sizable portion of the purchase price funding and how the “board insiders” disburse “their” funds.

When an areawide-owned asset like the nonprofit Mission Health perishes, it will be gone forever. Instead of being utilized for the health of our citizens, then you will see these funds evaporate into the air and resulting health care costs will rise.

— Timothy Legare
Retired attorney

Editor’s note: See “Mission Accomplished: Attorney General Approves ‘Rearticulated’ Mission-HCA Deal” in this issue for an update on the sale of the health system.

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6 thoughts on “Letter: Expect rising health care prices with Mission Health purchase

  1. Richard B.

    Mr. Legare paints a rather pessimistic, indeed gloomy, future for the citizens of Asheville and surrounding communities concerning their need for emergency services and hospital treatment with the sale, which has been approved, of Mission to HCA.
    Though he does not provide specifics or empirical evidence of the outcome of similar purchases around the country, he does make a few points regarding leadership and oversight in disbursements from the Dogwood Health Trust monies, which are quite a large sum.

    It is also obvious that Mr. Legare has scant knowledge of the financial outlook for Mission had the sale not occurred. There is little doubt that the outstanding quality of care that is Mission’s legacy would be continually eroded, while costs increased, given the nature of the population served in WNC compared to similar sized health organizations. I’m talking about the higher percentage of self pay and Medicaid patients Mission serves.

    Mr. Legare and other doubters, nay dystopians, can take comfort in that those who been largely responsible for the exceptional care provided by Mission, will, for the most part, remain in their positions of responsibility, from the Board, Executives, and Physicians, to the many thousands of RN’s, clinicians, techs, and so many others who contribute daily to the success of Mission Hospitals.

    • luther blissett

      If a hospital can’t stay afloat because there are too many poorer sick people in its catchment area, then maybe the problem isn’t with the hospital or the sick people. (That’s leaving aside Ron Paulus’s love of shiny new buildings and aggressive acquisitions.)

      • Lulz

        LOL bring on health care rationing. But the problem is once people wake up to who gets whats based on what they are, what happens when certain groups are denied care because of it? The farce of a 4 trillion dollar medicare program that can never be paid for means some will get it and some won’t. It’s going to suck when white guy can’t get care because he’s a second class citizen and the communist bigots hate his guts.

        LOL that how we get ethnic cleansing and civil wars. Of course communist are in denial of such things, but it’s easy to see the lie when all you have to do is read their words.

        • luther blissett

          “LOL bring on health care rationing.”

          Health care is already rationed by insurance companies (ever tried getting a straight answer from one?), by income and by lack of providers. It already sucks for “white guy” out in the rural western counties.

          But you be you, and keep fantasizing about race wars.

  2. Steve

    Maybe the city and county should if been more supportive of Mission. Especially during the BCBS dispute. When Mission asked the county and city to seitch over to Missions health care plan. They said no. Everyone always complained about Mission and the size of it. Now look what we have. Reap what you sow Asheville. And if Non profits have the ability to directly attack the detiments of health, it is a good thing. Something Mission never could do.

    • Lulz

      LOL gee maybe the scumbags in local government will now collect property taxes and spend them on healthcare to make up for it? Of course not.

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