Other principles to consider in surgery center agreement

I read with interest your editorial of September 7, 2014. Please allow me to reply:

While it is laudable to support the borough taxpayers who are the defacto owners of CPGH, it is also important to support 2 other tenets that are being short changed by the current refusal of granting a transfer agreement to Surgery Center of Kenai.

1. Competition. This is what makes the free enterprise system and capitalism strong, and has built our magnificent country into the wealthy, democratic envy of the free world. The monopolistic, anti-competitive actions of the hospital remove the level playing field necessary to improve performance and drive down costs. Everyone hates a monopoly except for the monopoly.

2. Choice. Medicare and Medicaid patients, and military veterans and their families are being refused the ability to chose the low cost alternative. The Medicare fee schedule pays the hospital 50-90 percent more for the same procedures that can (and should) be done in a surgery center. State and Federal taxpayers are picking up the difference. Medicare and military patients are paying 50-90 percent more in co-pays at the hospital. Who is speaking up for them?

The transfer agreement costs the hospital nothing, but costs the citizens money and freedom. As for future hospital losses, perhaps different management would ensure that $227,000,000 in annual income sustains a profit.