Friday, September 2, 2016

Hospital Board: 6 Questions for Susan Tucker

Susan Tucker

Hospital Board At Large, Seat 3

1. What are the major pros and cons of privatizing Sarasota Memorial Hospital and what is your position?

There are not any pro's to privatizing SMH. It will always be a public hospital. I am against privatization.

2. Regarding the expansion of Sarasota Memorial Hospital: please expand upon why you agree or disagree with the current expansion?  

I agree with  expanding the SMH footprint to help enable coverage for all citizens of Sarasota county.
3. How would you like future expansion to proceed?

The continued expansion of services and facilities in North Port and other area's that need services. North Port expansion is  a priority. Additionally, I am in favor of SMH growing where needed to support all citizens of Sarasota receiving
4. The failure of the State of Florida to expand Medicaid increases the hospital's uncompensated costs. What is your position on accepting the Federal Medicaid Funds?

It is unfortunate that a solution could not have been reached with the state of Florida and the Federal Government outside of Medicaid expansion. The Federal Government would not work with our state and it became an all or nothing decision. The Federal Government would only provide 90% of funds during the first three years, and then Florida would be responsible 100% for all costs as long as it stayed in the exchange. Florida is working on a system that takes care of our most vulnerable populations and I agree that a solution should be met without increases our taxes as a community and a state.

5. Moral and financial reasons for accepting Federal Medicaid Funds which were presented to the past Legislature did not work. How can the taxpayers encourage the Legislature to accept the federal Medicaid funds?

Over the past couple of years, the Legislature has reviewed and examined accepting Federal Medicaid Funds. I agree with the Legislature’s decision to find alternative solutions and programs for those who do not have access to health insurance. If the state of Florida had accepted the funds, the projected budget for our state in the next couple of years would be even more dire than the projected deficit of $1.3 and $1.8 billion our state is facing currently.
6. Mental health services are currently poorly funded; the low income working poor and some elders could benefit from the expansion of the federal Medicaid funds. How do you feel the hospital can be instrumental in providing the proposed expansion of mental health services that may be funded under the Affordable Care Act?

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