Last Monday's Hospital Board forum presented by the League of Women Voters of Sarasota County offered those who attended many superb insights into the health issues affecting Sarasota County residents, and the candidates proffered a range of positions on those issues.
By the end of the forum, it was clear to all that the questions facing Sarasota Memorial and the task of public healthcare are large, complex, and highly significant to our residents. To make what's at stake more available to our voters, each candidate has been invited to respond to the questions below. More about the Hospital Board here. A description of the Board's responsibilities is here.
1. What are the major pros and cons of privatizing Sarasota Memorial Hospital and what is your position?
2. Regarding the expansion of Sarasota Memorial Hospital: please expand upon why you agree or disagree with the current expansion?
3. How would you like future expansion to proceed?
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?
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?
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?
We have asked each candidate to provide their written responses by Noon Friday, Sept. 30. We will share their responses verbatim.
***Candidates are invited to provide photos and links to their sites.