The Trouble with – Doris

by  Clayton Moore

So what’s the problem?

President and CEO (Ms. Doris Kirchner) of the Vail Valley Medical Center (read: the Vail Hospital) does an excellent job of telling you all about our communities Medical Center in Vail, Colorado.

All about – that is, unless you want to discuss the specifics of the #1 issue that effectsdoris-kirchner every patient that pays for his/her Health Insurance.

It’s the Cost of the Health Insurance, hence the cost of local medical care…that the Hospital charges all of us.

Ms. Kirchner’s column in the Fishwrap (last week – click here) goes into some detail about the Vail Hospital and their current plans to expand in Vail.

Somehow, Ms. Kirchner (forgot?) to mention that Eagle County (along with Pitkin County) have the HIGHEST Health Insurance costs in the United States (Click Here)

This fact due to – in a large part – that our Vail Hospital has no real “local competition” so they charge what they want for a “fee for medical service”.  Too often 2-3 times what the same medical care can cost in Denver or other metro areas.  CEO Kirchner was very short on any real specifics about why the Hospital charges so much more for Health Care services provided at our Hospital.

Make No Mistake:  The ECT folks have absolutely no issue with the hard working Medical Professionals that provide our Community with top flight Medical Care 7x24x365.  You folks are great.

Kirchner-on-CostsCEO Kirchner – every reasonable person knows that living in our Resort Area will always cost more to live here – the ECT’s point is – we all are NOT paying 2-3 times as much as Denver for essentials like gasoline and groceries, now are we?

It’s the Cost of that medical service that alarms us because – that Vail Hospital cost is reflected in what we all pay for our Health Insurance in Eagle County, Colorado.

The fact that the Hospital’s CEO is unwilling (to date) to discuss that (publically) as a real Community Issue alarms us as well.  Yes, Ms. Kirchner the ECT folks have read your Hospital’s Federal 990 Tax Return – that is Public Record – since the Hospital is run as a non-profit – (Click Here).  Fact is a handful of Hospital Administrators and (top Doctors) are making a very handsome living here – we believe, too often at the expense of those of us paying for our own Health Insurance (Click Here).

Obviously, the newspaper print advertising budget from the Hospital (et al) – into the pockets of the Daily Fishwrap folks – has (to date) made our Fishwrap folks (dead silent) about bringing this Financial/Insurance Cost issue to the Voters this fall.

For their part the Fishwrap folks seem (only interested in?) telling you about our Rep. Jared Polis’s (D)  efforts to restrict your access and use of Federal Land.  Polis you’ll recall, voted for “Obamacare” the root cause of our continuously rising Health Insurance costs.  Polis is running again to keep his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives this November 2014.  The ECT folks know how we’ll be voting.

To Date (31AUG2014) Not ONE QUESTION from the Fishwrap reporters to Jared Polis – about Heath Insurance costs in Eagle County today.

So there you have it ECT readers…the CEO of our Vail Valley Medical Center, along with Rep. Jared Polis – and the Fishwrap folks – are happily and obviously running a kind of  “political cover” for them – provided (it would seem) that they buy enough paid print advertising…

The ECT folks challenge the Fishwrap folks – to prove us wrong on that point!



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