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Hundreds flock at townhall meeting for a healthy Lorain

Lorain: At a time when the Lorain community is facing layoffs, a declining tax base, and growing numbers of uninsured, residents are questioning whether hospitals are doing their fair share to ensure the quality care, quality jobs and quality public services Lorain residents need.

Shown to right is Lorain City Councilperson Fred Lozano addressing the audience.

More than 500 concerned residents, former patients, nurses and other caregivers, and community leaders met on Monday evening at Rosewood Place in Lorain to share experiences and discuss solutions to growing concerns about the health of the Lorain community. 

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Because they are considered non-profit, hospitals receive special tax breaks—even though they make millions of dollars in profits each year and spend millions on executives’ salaries and paid advertising.  In exchange for their generous tax breaks, hospitals are expected to provide charity care for patients in need and put their charitable purpose ahead of business and financial goals.

A growing number of patients, employees and taxpayers are looking for ways to hold hospitals accountable to their communities.

The meeting featured former patients, nurses, firefighters, police officers, and leaders from the Latino and religious communities:

·     •  Former patients, many uninsured, who were overcharged by hospitals and faced aggressive collections tactics like being sued in court for unpaid bills.

·     •  Nurses and other hospital employees who feel pressure to do more with less, many of whom are being denied the freedom to form a union for a real voice in the decisions that affect their patients and their jobs. 

·     •  Firefighters, police officers and other public officials who feel the brunt of Lorain’s budget crisis, which continues to threaten vital public services. 

·     • Leaders from the Spanish-speaking and African American communities in Lorain who will discuss the concerns of their communities.

·     •  Members of Lorain’s religious communities, labor unions and other concerned residents will also share their experiences, insights and ideas. 

 

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