Monday, October 10, 2016

Healthcare and Coastal Development: Where Money Flows

Healthcare and Coastal Development: Where Money Flows 


Read below to learn how one elected official reportedly accepted gifts from Coastal developers. The same elected official also quietly met with Sutter Health executives, claiming to have been appointed by her fellow County Supervisors, as Sutter was trying to increase prices and cut beds at our region's only hospital.  

Introduction: L.A. Times article by Steve Lopez

Warning: The following LA Times article contains quotes from Supervisor Martha McClure containing extremely offensive language: 

Click here to read the LA Times article  or copy and paste the following into your browser search bar:

McClure's Connection to Sutter Health
 
According to the L.A Times article, the money trail between California Coastal Commissioners and coastal land developers includes our own Supervisor Martha McClure, an appointee to the Coastal Commission who is currently seeking her sixth term as County Supervisor.  When asked about possible financial conflicts of interest with coastal developers, McClure hurled a string of obscenities at the L.A. Times reporter. 

Why am I writing this?  Because McClure reacted similarly when Dr. Caldwell and I asked about her relationship with Sutter Health executives as they attempted to cut hospital beds and raise prices at our region's only hospital. 

Here is the background:

When I was on the Board of Directors of Sutter Coast Hospital, I discovered that Supervisor McClure had quietly started working with Sutter Health executives.  McClure claimed she was working with the Sutter "selection committee" under an official appointment by the County Board of Supervisors.  The committee was charged with selecting the consultant for the 2013 Sutter Coast Hospital study.

The problem with McClure's story is that there is no record of her having been appointed by the Board of Supervisors to work with Sutter.  Her appointment is not on any meeting Agenda, nor is it in any meeting minutes.  Three Supervisors could not remember Martha's supposed appointment.

When Dr. Caldwell and I asked Supervisor McClure about her claim to have been appointed to work with Sutter, she responded angrily, including a voicemail asking how I could question her authority, and an unprintable phrase she directed specifically at Dr. Caldwell.  

Just as in her L.A. Times interview, when confronted with evidence of apparent misconduct, McClure responded with four letter words and false accusations.  Her outburst aside, McClure produced no evidence to support her claim to have been appointed to work with Sutter by the Board of Supervisors.  Unable to back up her claim, she resigned from the Sutter selection committee.  (She resurfaced shortly thereafter, as a member of the Sutter/Camden committee, but this time serving "as an individual.")
 
According to the Triplicate, and substantiated by internal hospital records, the Sutter/Camden committee members, which included McClure, all voted for Critical Access designation at Sutter Coast.  Recall that Critical Access would have cut our acute care beds by 50% and tripled charges to Medicare patients.  Thankfully, widespread public opposition forced Sutter earlier this year to rescind its Critical Access application.

I understand these facts may come as a surprise.  I, along with longtime Democrat Drs. Kevin Caldwell, Donna Sund, and Mark Davis, supported Martha McClure for many years.  But knowing of her false claims, support for Critical Access, and pattern of inappropriate behavior, we can no longer support Martha McClure.  We endorse Lori Cowan for District 2 Supervisor.

The pattern with McClure is clear: when asked about apparent official misconduct, McClure uses emotional outbursts to divert attention from issues such as coastal development, possible influence peddling, and people's healthcare. 

As always, I appreciate receiving your questions and comments.   As a local resident and business owner, it would have been easier to stay silent.  But this story--a multi-billion dollar corporation and an elected official misleading the public while working to cut vital healthcare services and raise charges on our senior citizens-must be heard.

To hear a last week's comprehensive radio interview on our community struggle with Sutter Health, tune into KFUG radio with host Paul Critz at:


or copy and paste the following link into your browser:



"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"-- The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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