'Put Healthcare Interests First'

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Arizona's as well as the nation's hospitals are in dire financial straits.

A couple of years ago, Congress passed legislation reducing the amount of reimbursement (that) hospitals receive for Medicare and Medicaid services so (drastically) that hospitals receive less than their costs for these programs ... No business can exist under that type of cash flow for long.

Now that the election's over and Congress is slated to go back to Washington in a lame duck session, our Arizona delegation must make the passing of important health-care legislation that affects all Payson and Arizona residents their first order of business.

Payson Regional Medical Center is an asset to our community, and hopefully (it) will be able to maintain its healthcare services for our residents. As a former trustee on PRMC's board, I know what could have happened if the hospital had to close because of insufficient funding, and it wasn't a pretty picture.

Congressman J.D. Hayworth has provided tremendous support and leadership in trying to correct this problem. We all need to say "Thanks, J.D." the next time we see him, because he's had our interests right up front. But we also need to say to Senator Jon Kyl and Senator John McCain, "Help us!" We need legislative relief in terms of the healthcare legislation currently before Congress. FAX your concerns over this healthcare crisis to Senator Kyl at (202) 224-2207 and to Senator McCain at (202) 228-2862 in Washington, and ask them to pass S 2018 as soon as possible.The message is simple: Put the healthcare interests of patients and Payson first, and restore important hospital funding today.

Lanny A. Kope, Mead's Ranch

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