Letter: Hospital election doesn’t make sense

As time goes by, I am becoming more confused and less enthused by Aspen Valley Hospital. As Roger Waters says, “Sometimes it seems to me as if I’m just being used.” We pay taxes and elect a board to what? They charge whatever the market will bear, even if it means gouging local a taxpayer who has sent quite a bit of money toward the organization. They build an exorbitant building to lure doctors out of private offices into public-subsidized offices that then seem to only increase the cost of services and reduce physical therapist choice and access.

Speaking of increased costs, a simple “add-on” blood draw during the local community health process was three times the price had we shopped around and gone to Valley View Hospital downvalley. Our bad, but who would have thought

something so simple would be that much more expensive here? I appreciate the emergency service only a few minutes away and it is something I would like to see continue, just in case. But I also would appreciate a sense of fiduciary responsibility to the local taxpayer, since it is, evidently, at least partially a public good as evidenced by the seemingly annual tax elections for more facility and the current board election. Instead, we have a public-enabled private enterprise in search of higher profits and more technology with what I feel is little or no concern for the local user and taxpayer. Maybe we should go back to the old public-good community hospital model where all locals “contributed” part of their paycheck to share in the cost of providing relatively affordable nonprofit medical care to everyone and the management was truly locally directed. Or else we should just privatize the whole deal, reduce our taxes, stop the hospital elections, sell the buildings to whatever hospital conglomerate is interested and send that money over to the Aspen School District, which really needs it. (By the way, I support Mike Lyons for the board).

Dave Conarroe