Shawn Burcham’s Feb. 3 letter effectively summarizes negative effects of selling the recently built SSM Hospital near the state Capitol to Columbia’s Missouri University Medical Department: establishing a government monopoly that needlessly eliminates private industry and introduces increased patient costs.
Details, mostly secreted, allow the SSM conglomerate to eliminate a meager 2 percent of its mismanaged local valuation and then seek other hospital facilities: $200 million debt in Jefferson City compared to the SSM’s $9 billion valuation.
Presently, 600 Catholic hospitals serve clients in the United States.
Further, a high state official thinks that this monopolizing would require approval of the state legislature.
Negative effects are already noticeable in the realm of medical services: Private specialists have left and wait-time for first appointments to a new physician often require a month or more; hospital staff may face layoffs and reduced job openings.
Costs of medical insurance plans would certainly increase for treatments beyond the local region — for example, in St Louis or Kansas City.
State control would also eliminate Catholic health care for a vast region. That care, beginning 115 years ago, has witnessed dedicated client-oriented spiritual services by Catholic nuns and priests in a religious atmosphere and environment.