I appreciate the in-depth letter written by Doctors Craighead, Patrick and Carr of the secrecy revealed well ahead of the announced merger RFP — “the more light shed on this issue, the worse the merger’s viability appears and the more it is apparent it was both an unfair RFP limiting competition and an illegal effort to sidestep monopoly laws.”
Last month, my wife spoke to a reliable friend who had direct contact with a member of the opposition coalition. The friend echoed SMM and UMC’s denial to make the RFP public. Now, the above letter indicates that SMM also apparently lied toward slanting the RFP to UMC’s sole, or at least non-competitive, favor.
More recently in letters to editor, several physicians penned opinions favoring the merger. I don’t know of any of their affiliations, but everyone is entitled to their opinion regardless if without data backup. One doctor wanted to change the definition of the word “local”to be within 60 miles of here — I think not.
UMC is a public, tax-supported teaching hospital and receives tax money on both ends as medical students and patients both fund the hospital. That our tax money is supporting UMC is even more reason that it be open to public scrutiny. We voters passed “Clean Missouri” for a reason. In the same opinion page, Tom Judge chastised the House of Representatives for their voting to keep some records hidden from the public and the News Tribune’s same-day editorial voiced strong opposition to the House exempting themselves from “the Sunshine Law,” suggesting legal action may be appropriate. I say to both issues: bring it on.
We citizens deserve nothing but an open government! I’m sure Mr. Griffith and Mr. Veit read this section of the paper. Will they be open with us or will they be a part of the problem? The newspaper must keep up the pressure on both issues, too.
I realize the free market dictates whether a business is viable or not, but I don’t believe SMM has made an honest effort to attract all medical organizations that may have the capability or possible desire to purchase SMM. I believe the opposite — that SMM colluded with UMC to limit competition and to hide that fact.