To protect the poor NC must change the billing rules for nonprofit hospitals

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Nonprofit hospitals

Regarding “NC nonprofit hospitals are supposed to provide charity care, but bill poor patients,” (Jan. 26):

The fact that this illegal gouging faces little to no accountability is sad.

Nonprofit hospitals receive tax exempt status on their income because they’ve committed to charity care — forgiving all or part of an indigent patient’s bill.

Shame on the N.C. hospital trade group for denying the exposed practice and trying to shield themselves by holding up front line nurses and staff as the ones being attacked. We all know the caregivers are our heroes, it’s the people sending the illegal bills to the poor who were exposed and are to blame.

It’s time to require all nonprofit hospitals to continually submit their billing data to maintain their tax exempt status. When the managers directing this illegal billing are held personally liable, then the hospitals will fix the problem.

Mike Phillips, Raleigh

Gerrymandering

I hope the judges who made the most recent ruling on gerrymandering in our state are aware of the irony of this statement: “Despite our disdain for having to deal with issues that potentially lead to results incompatible with democratic principles and subject our state to ridicule, this court must remind itself that these maps are the result of a democratic process.” Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that gerrymandering, regardless of which party does it, is incompatible with true democracy. Therefore, the most recent maps are not the result of a democratic process. Please end gerrymandering and give us a true democracy!

Jack Unruh, Raleigh

Election delays

Regarding “North Carolina’s 2022 primary election is in flux,” (Jan. 26):

Non-stop campaigning and elections are keeping this country from accomplishing much legislatively. How does the United Kingdom manage to mount an election in weeks (lucky them), while this country needs months or even years.

The Republicans in the N.C. General Assembly created this mess, and the fact that our court system moves so slowly just compounds the problem. Could we just have a moderately reasonable redistricting map in a state that votes very close to 50-50 Democrat vs. Republican? These warped redistricting maps just make it more difficult to arrive at a reasonable solution to anything in North Carolina.

Susan M. Whitledge, Raleigh

NC’s investment

Regarding “NC lands supersonic jet factory that plans to hire 1,700,” (Jan. 27):

How many of these hires will be N.C. residents prepared in a Leandro era of underfunded school system to make an average $68,792 per year? And what is the return on investment to North Carolina for the $121.5 million? The developers will make a great deal of money, while cities and counties will need to build out water, sewers, roads, and hire more civil servants. Is that part of the return on investment calculation? It would be wonderful for N.C. citizens to have full transparency as to the societal and economic impact/benefit of past and future projects involving taxpayer-funded concessions and inducements.

Tony Quartararo, Raleigh

Long COVID

Alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a brewing health crisis that will have lasting impacts on Americans for years to come: long COVID.

Studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association have reported that 10-30% of those who’ve had COVID continue to have at least one symptom up to six months after the virus cleared their bodies. These include shortness of breath, pain, fatigue, and cognitive deficits.

While there is ongoing research into what causes long COVID and how to best support those suffering from it, we need additional resources to support these efforts. We need a unified plan from elected officials that ensures we are prepared to continue to fight the after-effects COVID as long as there are Americans who suffer from them.

Andrew Kahn, Chapel Hill

The modern GOP

The modern GOP is not interested in the hard work of governing or in developing creative legislative proposals that would serve the general public. Instead, they focus on doing nothing unless it blocks the agenda of the opposing party or helps their wealthy supporters. They definitely are not interested in sensible, constructive compromise.

Why don’t the people they purport to represent demand that they do their job and cooperate to better our nation? An indifferent voting constituency may inadvertently offer support for a destructive agenda that promotes a drift away from democracy and move toward autocracy.

Dean R. Prestemon, Cary

Ukraine

Is there anyone who does not believe that after Russia invades and takes over Ukraine they will then do the same thing to Moldova, Poland, Slovakia and Romania? Ukraine is only Step 1. The Russians will simply drive across Ukraine and Belarus. If NATO nations do not implement a total ban of any form of trade and any Russian monies that NATO country’s may have, then we are back to the Iron Curtain again. We are not about to start a war with a major nuclear power and they know it.

Charles P. Brown, Wake Forest

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