Health Professionals and Allied Employees/AFT/AFL-CIO
11o Kinderkamack road
Emerson, NJ 07630
Statement of Ann Twomey, President, HPAE
Re: Concurrence with Governor’s veto of S782, legislation requiring hospital financial transparency
“Now, more than ever, we need transparency and accountability in all of our institutions, including our hospitals, which rely on government and taxpayer support as well as premium dollars from consumers and insurance companies. These funds are meant to provide quality patient care, not excessive private profit. Consumers, taxpayers, elected officials and healthcare workers all deserve to know where patient care dollars are going, and whether they are being allocated appropriately, or mis-directed into private gain at the expense of patient care.
While we believe the Governor’s original veto of hospital transparency was in direct contrast to what is required to hold hospitals accountable to the public, we believe that concurrence of the veto will allow the Department of Health to move forward to develop recommendations which can restore trust and accountability in these institutions, particularly given the recent rush of sales of our community hospitals to for-profit companies.
We urge the Commissioner of Health to establish an open, inclusive process to develop these recommendation, involving local communities served by our for-profit hospitals, as well as citizen groups, health care workers, and health care advocates.
We thank Senator Weinberg for staying focused on this issue and for putting care first.