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Letter: The State of Healthcare

By David Hochreiter
Posted 9/25/18

After reading that gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean visited our piece of paradise on September 11 to participate in a healthcare roundtable discussion it got me thinking about the current situation …

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Letter: The State of Healthcare


After reading that gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean visited our piece of paradise on September 11 to participate in a healthcare roundtable discussion it got me thinking about the current situation in which our community is in, and the cause of this situation.

There is no doubt that the closure of McKenzie Regional Hospital is a devastating blow to our community, over 100 jobs lost in the hospital alone, more from the closure of the OB dept. at McKenzie Medical Center because we don’t have a place to deliver babies anymore. Add on top of this the fact that there is more wasted time in the first “golden hour” of any incident, meaning when grandma has a stroke and lives off Hwy 124 just outside McKenzie that now it will take her much longer to reach a medical facility capable of giving her the lifesaving care within the first hour that she desperately needs.

With all this being said I find it difficult to believe that Karl Dean actually expects our local residents to be stupid enough to believe that his Democratic plan will solve any of these issues, especially since his party created them in the first place. You may be saying now “that’s not fair you can’t say that”, but follow me for a moment as I present this another way.

Let’s pretend you are an ASE-certified mechanic, you’ve been to school and are a very skilled and respected mechanic. You have built a successful business and run your own mechanics shop. You are able to charge a higher rate for your repairs because you produce quality work in a short amount of time. You are so good at what you do that people come to you and your have a steady customer base. Now imagine that the federal government gets involved and they start by simply requiring that you only use Pennzoil 10W30 motor oil in all your oil changes. This doesn’t seem like a big deal right? All cars use oil so what will this hurt? You go along with it for a while and then some of your best customers start complaining that “something just isn’t right, the car isn’t running like it used to”, they ask what has changed. You tell them that by law you can only use Pennzoil 10W30 motor oil even in their high performance vehicle, which the factory recommends only using a full synthetic oil in, the customer scoffs and is disappointed in the result of your work due to the new regulations and thus you have lost a customer. Now imagine that the government decides that you can only bill your customer for 1 hour of labor to replace their alternator even though it takes two hours to complete.

You therefore are losing $23 per hour (according to payscale.com) If you change 4 alternators a week that totals up to $4,784 that the government is taking out of your pocket.

This is exactly what is happening to medicine and is adversely effecting our small rural communities. Too much governmental regulation and bureaucratic nonsense has forced many small for profit hospitals to close their doors, with McKenzie Regional Hospital being one of them. This over regulation has been the direct result of failed Democratic attempts to expand Medicare and Medicaid programs, which is exactly what Karl Dean is promising to do if he wins the Governor’s race in November. How can any for-profit business continue to serve its customers or in case of a hospital its patients with such burdensome regulations? If the local, state or federal governments aren’t going to provide healthcare facilities to our local communities, which it’s not their place to, to begin with; they need not get in the way of free enterprise and those doctors and businesses that are willing to provide these essential lifesaving services themselves.

When they choose to do so they accept all risks that go with running a business just as the mechanic did. With President Obama’s failed attempt at Obamacare the Democratic party attempted to tie the hands of not only you by forcing you to buy an “approved health insurance policy” or pay a $600 fine but they tied the hands of hundreds of small community hospitals across the country which were for-profit organizations who were willing to help their local communities because they see the good that comes from local community based medical care.

There is no doubt that Karl Dean if given the chance would expand Medicaid to 300,000 more Tennesseans because that gives he and his Democratic Party the ability to influence the closure of more hospitals thus moving toward their agenda of universal government supplied healthcare due to the lack of facilities, when in all actuality healthcare would be so much better if the Democrats stayed out of it and left decisions up to the free market. There is no doubt that a reduction of available healthcare throughout Tennessee would be the result if Karl Dean wins the Governor’s race especially since he would be supported by lock step Democratic State Representative candidate Deane Arganbright who vows to support expanding Medicaid as well. It’s time we allow the free market to do what it does best and solve the problems that the government creates themselves.

David Hochreiter



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