Greenville-Palmetto Health system should give Medicaid assistance

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The one-page ad in The Sumter Item on June 18 has increased my skepticism regarding the joining of Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health.

This ad, signed by CEOs Beaman and Riordan, provides very little concrete information: mostly the ad consists of clinches and generalities.

Example 1: "Our patients have told us they need high-quality, accessible health care at an affordable cost." Every patient everywhere has always wanted this.

Example 2: "Because of its scale, the new health company has the potential to invest an additional $1 billion over the next five years in our Midlands and Upstate communities." Apparently, the nonprofit status allows a company to accumulate funds rapidly.

I suggest the $1 billion be used to help the helpless in our community.

Soon a new health bill will pass Congress. There will be massive Medicaid cuts, nursing homes will have a financial crisis.

Greenville-Palmetto Health can help these helpless patients by giving Medicaid assistance.

Lynn Bailey, a Columbia health economist, states in 18 months many families will get a phone call from a nursing home. "Come and get grandma. We have no more Medicaid money." Many patients will die in a few days at home.

The State paper on Saturday, June 23, page 10A: "Legislators ask SC Attorney General to investigate Palmetto Health-Greenville deal" because of concerns about the "anti-competitive" nature of the deal.

So I am skeptical. Something smells bad.

PHIL BRANDT, M.D.

Sumter