We will have no options, no choice, should Phoebe Putney purchase Palmyra Park. The care and services available to patients will suffer without two hospitals.
Insurance premiums, co-pays, and out-of-pocket costs will increase, even though health care costs in Dougherty County already exceed the state average by 45%.
The loss of Palmyra would be devastating to the local economy. Phoebe will recoup the purchase price, and the $2 million commission paid to its attorney, from insurers and patients. Phoebe would enjoy even greater leverage in negotiating rates with insurers and health plans, as it would control every hospital bed in the county.
This means insurers will be compelled to pay considerably more for the same services. The increased cost will be shifted to local businesses and hard-working men and women, who are already paying far too much for their health care.
A consortium of local industries previously presented evidence confirming health care costs in this market far exceed those in other plants located elsewhere in the United States. Local leaders did nothing, and now Cooper Tire is gone. P&G says little, which should be a clarion call to the entire community.
We will not attract new industry unless we can bring health care costs under control, and will have difficulty retaining existing industries, which, for years, have expressed legitimate concerns about health care costs in Dougherty County.