To the editor of THE EAGLE:
The Pittsfield health conglomerate buying North Adams Regional Hospital with a cheap, low bid looks as if it is set to half-open it, shut it again, and make a big tax loss claim. The Pittsfield company has a dismal employment record and actions that can be interpreted as triggering the North Adams shutdown.
Can public protest be useful? There are dozens of rural hospitals closing lately and in the case of Belhaven, North Carolina, the town’s mayor has walked a pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. to save the hospital. Can all of these stricken towns unite, along with anyone who is against a "de-hospitalized" America? Seniors should care -- and they vote.
What if a "co-op hospital" should be the voters’ choice? There are "Save Our Hospital" lawn signs all over this hospital’s region. People could cover the hospital’s running costs on a sliding scale, with less by the poor and more by the rich.
Unfortunately, America’s tax money goes to giant construction projects, not hospitals or basic maintenance. Big Construction gets big tax dollars which bounce back into big political campaigns. The scales of justice favor big dollar law firms and big dollar officialdom. So cast aside the 90-day warning law before a hospital closes. Can average people change this?
World jobs vanish in automation, and this ex-mill town loses its newspaper along with its hospital.
RICHARD DAVID GREENE