To the editor:
In trying to decide whether to respond to Ron Reese’s diatribe on whether drinking alcoholic refreshments in public will result in the apocalypse or answering Mr. Herb Kuhn’s request for lobbyists to push his association’s initiative, I decided that Mr. Kuhn’s initiative might potentially impact my wallet. So please pass this letter on to Mr. Herb Kuhn.
Dear Mr. Kuhn, the next time you want me to serve as a lobbyist for the initiative your association wrote to solve a problem you determined existed, please let me know in plain English.
I will say that access to health services is important when I need it, but otherwise not so much. Also, I disagree that location shouldn’t matter when it comes to quality of care or access to health services. After all, every good businessman or woman will tell you that location does matter. The last house I sold, the amount I received depended a lot on location and timing. So I expect that better care would be available in urban vs. rural areas. It’s simple economics. To try to force rural areas to have the same level of care and access means Peter has to rob Paul to pay for it.
In your guest column you brought up an initiative your organization just launched (“The Reimagine Rural Health Initiative”), which you purport to be the vehicle that us country bumpkins, I mean rural Missourians, need to use to have our voices heard on health care issues. You then attempt to persuade me by using all the latest buzzwords like “reimagine,” “investments,” “medical deserts,” “shared challenges,” “shared opportunities,” “reinvent,” etc. First let me say that I live in one of those “medical deserts,” where the closest hospital is about 40 miles away. I live here by choice, and my family and I know that whether it is a medical issue or a law enforcement matter, we are our own first responders. I’m generally healthy. I see my local doctor annually for a physical, and I’m almost 61. So if health care access were a higher priority I’d live closer to the city.
But I digress. Regarding all those buzzwords I mentioned, I’ve taken the “red pill” (see the movie “The Matrix” for insight). So when I read all those words all I see are code words for “Our association of medical entities wants more money from the government for health services, so your taxes need to be raised.” (Yes I did go online and read up on your initiative, and although it never came out and said raise taxes, I could read between the lines … nothing in life is free, especially when the government is involved.)
Also in your letter you mentioned the closing of rural Missouri hospitals, yet you did not specify why they closed. Doing so would go far in advocating for your initiative, maybe. It depends on whether the hospitals closed due to lack of customers (a.k.a. patients), financial mismanagement or ridiculous government mandates that forced them to close.
In closing, Mr. Kuhn, next time don’t tell me what you think all rural Missourians need to root for; just tell me what you are recommending in plain English, and what it will cost, and let me vote with my pocketbook and where I decide to live.
Rural Missourian, Webster County.