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Cox Hospital, a Monopoly Provider!

     Yes, we who live in this little Ozark Town are pleased that there is a big, bright blue, 24/7, Acute Care Hospital right out there on our "one and only freeway", I-65. While many of us are amazed that anyone thought we deserved one Hospital, there are some of us who wish we had two Hospitals. We, the more discriminating future patients, or paranoid people depending on your bias, think market choices are the key to prosperity. How "at risk" would we feel if Harter House was the only supermarket and Aaron Sachs was the only lawyer. 

     Historically we might have been less anxious about our "one hospital" situation. Back in the day when our chosen Doctor admitted us to the Hospital so that he might have specialty resources to manage our health circumstance, we retained at least some control.  No longer!  Our chosen Doctor now plays virtually no role in his patients Hospital Stay. When, we walk, or are carried, into Cox, our care is directed exclusively by employees hired by persons we have never met and whose credentials we have never seen. 

     Acknowledged this "blind risk" relationship is common to many mission critical services such as  firefighters and police.  The relationship is however, fundamentally different in that ultimately these critical service providers serve at the pleasure of an elected official that we can by vote chose to replace.  Clearly, we the Branson Taxpayers will not vote on the next CoxCorp CEO, and we will not scrutinize their evolving policies and business model.   We are, willing or unwilling, going to know everything about Trump's wife and Hillary's granddaughter, but nothing about the people we entrust to save our lives.  Shame on us!

     No, we should not start a County Hospital to compete with Cox.  We should however, acting either through local elected officials or by a public presence of a  "Common Interest Non Government Organization, hold Cox leadership accountable for "full disclosure".  Perhaps during this election season, we will be so motivated.  Certainly the tools of our self-assemblage are ready and waiting at the click of out smartphones. 

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