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Letter To The Editor . . .

Hospital CON law

September 19, 2012 - Dear Editor,

I would have to respectfully disagree with Dr. James O'Neill's recent letter to the editor saying that this state's Certificate of Need law should be relegated to the "ash heap of history" ("O'Neill favors dismantling CON process for hospital," Sept. 12).

The Certificate of Need law has served the people of this state just as it was intended. If not for the Certificate of Need law, hospitals would outnumber CVS and Rite Aid stores.

The certificate of need process is not a relic of days past, it is still protecting taxpayers as it was designed. Dr. O'Neill knows that by law all hospitals with ER's have to accept patients whether the patient has the means to pay or not. In exchange for those losses, ER's and Urgent Care Centers are given tax exempt status. Relegating the CON to the "ash heap of history" would open the door to loses in property tax revenue in communities through out the state.

I suggest that if Dr. O'Neill wishes that the certificate of need requirement be relegated to the ash heap, that at that time all ER's and urgent care centers lose their tax exempt status. Sending our state representatives to Lansing to try to bypass the CON requirement for this proposed hospital is not in the best interests our community, it is self serving and in the best interests of the few.

If McLaren can't prove to the state that there is a need, then there isn't a need! Keep the CON, it's doing exactly what it was intended to do, protect the taxpayer!

Michael Powell

Independence Township

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