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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
|Political Philosophy for Kurt Hahn|
Kurt Hahn's political philosophy can best be described a middle of the road like most voters. As a Hospital District Board member, however, he belives the Board has a fuduciary responsibily to the voters and taxpayers to spend public funds wisely and in the most efficient and productive manner. His view of Hospital services, on the other hand, is that they must be available and affordable as well as reflecting compassion especially when it comes to care of those lacking insurance or those who possibly are unable to pay the full amont.
He believes the State's Healthcare System needs a major overhall and reform. At the top of Kurt's list are Healthcare workforce issues including a 30% shortage of Nurses that he says must be addressed. Next he cites the growing shortage in our County of General Practice Doctors and other Specialists especially in the North County. Hahn says Prescription Drug Costs have reached inordinately high levels largely as a result of the lifting of advertising prohibitions in 1997 and that needs to be charged. He is also critical of the levels of Hospital reinbursements for Medical from the State which now reflect about 30% of actual costs causing everyone having insurance to make up the difference.
Kurt says the County's Community Hospitals, such as Healdsburg District Hospital, which is the primary emergency medical service providor to Windsor, Healdsburg, Geyserville, and Cloverdale, are critically important to maintain because nobody wants to get stuck in the all too frequent congestion of 101 while on the way to an Emergency Room.They also provide, Hahn says, services faster and cheaper than those typically available at larger hospitals.
He adds however it is equally important that the Community Hospitals seek appropriate Strategic Partnerships with one or more of the larger Santa Rosa Hospitals. Hahn cites as an example current contracts between the District and Kaiser to serve a variety of Kaiser patients and one currently under discussion with Memorial that will provide a wide variety of joint benefits including on-call specialists and possible joint support services that can benefit from economies of scale among other things.
Hahn says every Hospital must always be open to the thought that there might be a better or alternative way of doing things. We should learn from the successes and failures of others and certainly not make the same mistake twice. Healthcare is without question one of the most complex public policy issues and ever changing and all of us need to recognize that as a fact of life.
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