23 Aug OUR THOUSANDS OF WORKING POOR CITIZENS, WHO CANNOT AFFORD HEALTH INSURANCE, WHO ARE TOO POOR TO QUALIFY FOR OBAMACARE PLANS, RELY ON THE CHARITY OF THE GOOD DOCTORS IN OUR COMMUNITY AND ON THE CHARITY OF MISSION HOSPITAL. HISTORICALLY, ACROSS THE COUNTRY, WHEN FOR-PROFIT HEALTH SYSTEMS HAVE ACQUIRED NON-FOR-PROFIT HEALTH SYSTEMS, ONE OF THE FIRST COST-CUTTING CHANGES IMPOSED IS CUTBACK OR ELIMINATION OF CHARITY CARE PROGRAMS. WHO IS GOING PROTECT OUR WORKING POOR WHEN HCA TAKES OVER?
Joining HCA Healthcare would not change how Mission approaches patient care or treatment of the uninsured in any way, and Mission’s charity care would absolutely continue under HCA Healthcare. HCA Healthcare has committed to continuing a generous charity care policy, and elimination of charity care programs is inconsistent with their mission and the Hippocratic Oath sworn by its founding physicians.
Also, whether a hospital operates as a non-profit or a for-profit, its legal requirements to serve the poor and uninsured are essentially the same. Federal law protects patients who are in need of emergent care, and it is illegal to require up-front payments for that care. Regardless of status, all hospitals are obligated to meet the same federal and state requirements and are held to the same quality and patient safety standards.