Field of Schemes

I have the perception modern medicine has degenerated into a Ponzi scheme that we all are now required by law to buy into.

A flawed and failed system that has let the costs of its services run so far away from any semblance of reality that without the subsidies of mandated insurance, their services, which we all need to survive, have become unaffordable.

Some healthcare corporations mask themselves as a non-profit entity to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. They have become so aggressive and awash with money, they have branched out into the pharmacy and insurance business with intent to dominate those markets, eliminate competition and further increase their revenue streams.

Corporations who strive to cut operating costs by keeping wages and staffing levels low and doctor visits short, all while they have no real notion of cost containment whatsoever, ever expanding their footprint with new facilities filled with the very latest in high-tech equipment to “better serve the consumer”.

Exorbitantly paid executives of these vast mega corporations have lost touch with their core mission, and in their desire to compete and dominate the marketplace have put profits ahead of the people and communities they claim to serve.

And so it is with these preconceptions, however valid or misguided, that I learn that the Aurora Corporation has intentions to boot the kids off their Field of Dreams soccer and sports complex and build an $80 Million dollar outpatient facility here in my residential neighborhood.

This land is perfectly situated to allow Aurora the prime location from which to compete with the other medical facilities on Sheboygan’s north side and capture more of the prized market share.

This non-profit corporation is awash in so much money that it can “donate” a sum of $5 million to move our existing sports complex across town and has found a willing accomplice in the money-starved SASD, who is more than willing to sell off our prized community assets for enough funds to float them over to next year. How very short sighted.

I have done some soul searching as to why this is important to me personally and I’ve reached a couple of conclusions. Certainly part of it is the “not in my backyard” thing.

I can hear the kids cheering from our house on game day. The herd of deer know their way over from the field and stop to eat the downed apples from our trees. I enjoy the sight of families parked around my neighborhood with soccer moms, dads and kids out enjoying life.

Simple family values of a bygone day, unfortunately there is no monetary value to any of it, but it is part of what made my north side Sheboygan neighborhood a great place to live. What really bothers me most is that monied corporate operatives met behind closed doors with our local officials to arrange terms of a deal, that was to pour vast sums of money out to those who are in position either to object or approve, and only when ready, make a quick announcement and follow immediately with a closed door meeting and a hurried vote. To be over and done before anyone dare object.

This so violates my sense of fair play and justice. To bamboozle the community out of their “Field of Dreams” park so the Aurora corporation can compete as bigger and better right next to their competition.

It is just so wrong on so many levels. The massive Aurora hospital in Grafton came about in exactly the same way. A quick announcement, followed by a manipulated fast track through local government, over and done, objections be damned.

History is about to repeat itself. It seems politics are no longer a messy business if you have enough money at your disposal. So I bid farewell to our neighborhood “Field of Dreams”. Despite the hundreds of pleas of park users and neighbors I’m sorry, but you’re not going to make it. You never really had a chance.

Ken Bohannon

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