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October 10, 2007

on Monday, 07 September 2015. Posted in News from the President

The CCFC is coming out against the Franklin County Special Sales Surtax for "health care."

The CCFC is coming out against the Franklin County Special Sales Surtax for "health care."

In point of fact, the new sales taxitis not for "health care" and does not in any way guarantee to shift the burden of running Weems from property owners to a straight sales tax.

The facts as we know them now are, that the money may be spent on a new hospital, clinics, indigent care, general expenses of Weems, raises, new employee benefits, feasibility studies or just about anything, including glossy and expensive public relations campaigns to garner support for their positions. Make no mistake about it, the truth is as Commissioner Parrish inadvertently said at a healthcare workshop,it's about keeping a lot of jobs in Apalachicola.

The sales tax will not fund all the goodies promised. There is no way that a 25-bed rural hospital funded almost exclusively by Medicare and Medicaid can be profitable with a bed count usually under five each night and sometimes 0. (We don't think the sleep clinic should count in the nightly census as an acute care need.)

The CCFC has taken the position that an outside, nationally recognized health care consulting firm should be contracted to study health care alternatives in Franklin County, taking into account the wants and needs of the county and the fiscal realities. In fact, at the August 30th Apalachicola Hospital Workshop, the CCFC presented to the Board of County Commissioners an alternative healthcare approach and wording for the November 6th ballot question.They would not discuss nor even consider our proposal.

For those of you not in the know, Sacred Heart is building a new hospital right now 15 minutes west of Apalachicola which will be in direct competition with a replacement hospital in Franklin County. I guarantee this is just one of the many factors that have not been considered in the current push to building a low-balled $20 million replacement hospital in Apalachicola, among other promises.

Franklin County is the not the poster child for economical construction either. For a forewarning of what a new hospital might cost, just take a look at our still under construction $43 million dollar (and growing) 1100-student school. I've wondered if the new school is the most expensive school in the state on a per pupil basis. The CCFC was not around yet when the new school was approved but we're here now and sounding the alarm.

Again, the CCFC and its members are not against good health care for Franklin County. The way the issue has been framed by vested interests, anyone who disagrees or even questions the process is portrayed as stingy, cruel, unfeeling and generally against good health care in Franklin County. We know our readers are savvy enough to figure this out. Sooner or later, the County will be back to hit the property owners to support the "new" Franklin County health plan. With notes due each month there will be no choice but to reach into your pocket as the "full faith and credit" of Franklin County will have been pledged to secure poorly thought-out choices.

Watch for our ads in the coming weeks in theFranklin ChronicleandThe Times:Apalachicola/Carrabellenewspapers.

Allan J. Feifer, President, CCFC

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