The meeting we had hoped would take place with public organizations has not been organized. Hence, here is our latest Letter to the Editor of the Post-Crescent which we hope will appear shortly.
"The new P-C editorial policy seeks solutions for problems. Here is an option for health care.
A viable solution for the Fox Valley would be to put all public sector employees (city, county, schools, FVTC) into a single purchasing group and organize that group as a cooperative pursuant to Chapter 185 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Add to that cooperative small employers (< 50 employees), non-profits, and individuals currently on the federal exchange. The new cooperative would have significant purchasing and political power to negotiate not only lower rates but changes in the way the two, dominant local health systems deliver services and compensate physicians and managers.
We (https://www.foxvalleyhealthcare.com) have attempted to make this proposal to public organizations. They have been unwilling to discuss this issue. They are content to compel taxpayers to pay for the benefits of their employees and themselves but are unwilling to consider alternatives to simply putting the expense for their largesse on the tab of taxpayers (the county shortfall for this year alone is about $2.5 million according to the Deputy County Executive). Similarly we have tried to discuss this idea with the health systems. Same result.
The problem, fellow citizens, can be addressed from a technical perspective. From a power and political perspective, it is an entirely different matter. The fault, on both sides, is a lack of leadership. The public organizations are…timid. The health systems’ problem is more egregious. The managers of these organizations have taken not-for-profit organizations that were created for a public purpose and “converted” them into private money machines that serve, first and foremost, the interest of their corporations. Witness ThedaCare having $150 million invested in hedge funds, $100 million of which is “offshore” (see 2016 IRS Form 990 for ThedaCare).
if you would like to learn more we will present a program at 7pm on October 16 at Lawrence University’s Wriston Auditorium."