Readers Write (April 9): Sanford Health, pensions, income, mental health

  • Updated: April 8, 2013 - 7:02 PM
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HEALTH CARE MERGER

Private organizations can hide their mistakes

The writer of the April 8 Letter of the Day, comparing Sanford Health favorably to the University of Minnesota, asks: “Am I missing something?” Indeed he is, but he has company.

Sanford is a private organization, and although it must disclose some information, most of its operations can remain hidden from the public gaze. It can hide its mistakes. The U is a public entity, and although it can hide some of its information, most of its operations must be disclosed — so its mistakes are obvious to the public.

This comparison is true of most public and private entities. It results in the widespread but misleading belief that private companies are always better-managed and more efficient than government organizations.

Elizabeth J. Hinds, Morris, Minn.

• • •

Thousands of Minnesota’s military members (active or retired) access civilian medical facilities through Tricare, the health care program of the Department of Defense. However, some of the “most renowned institutions in Minnesota” are not among Tricare in-network providers. Not Fairview, not the University of Minnesota.

Tricare beneficiaries can choose to visit out-of-network providers, but in doing so expose themselves to significant fees. They also experience more complicated claims processing and billing procedures.

Whether Fairview Health Services is acquired by the University of Minnesota, merges with Sanford Health or continues to operate as a standalone, not-for profit institution, I hope that its hospitals, clinics and affiliated providers will agree to become in-network providers of Tricare. I hope all of the “most renowned institutions in Minnesota” will.

Robert Keller, Edina

 

The writer is retired from the U.S. Air Force.

* * *

PENSION FUNDS

One way or another, burden is transferred

Well, I certainly feel much better after reading Don Leathers’ April 8 commentary “Minnesotans should be wary of public pension distrust.” Here I thought that the full $36 million proposed to support ailing pension funds would come out of taxes. Thankfully, I now know that only $13 million would come out of my left pocket (taxes), while the remaining $26 million, to support the police and firefighters, would come out of my right pocket (additional fees on homeowner and auto insurance).

Thanks for the clarification.

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