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  • Writer's pictureMichael Collins

EAMC makes money the old-fashioned way, political theft.

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

This letter was sent to our editors at The writer [PeterByrd] has exposed this information to the local media and Lee County Commission many times and hopes will be able to cast some light on this ongoing issue affecting all of Lee County. The Lee County Commission seem to be aiding and abetting this abuse.


"For years I have attended these County Commission meetings, tracked the issues and trusted that each Commissioner’s vote would align with moral and legislative law. My friend, Lance Farrar, used to attend, but he was arrested and banned for two years after the most corrupt Commissioner perjured himself at his hearing in Judge Bush’s Court. His crime was to chastise the Commission and the Revenue Commissioner to hang their heads in shame for hiring security and then jokingly lamenting her inability to hire dogs as well, to enforce the Covid mask and distancing mandate.

I’m here because an undisciplined EAMC is on the Agenda tonight to weasel another $13 million subsidy. I’m here to encourage the Commission to make any future taxpayer support of EAMC conditioned upon EAMC providing proper health care and complying with Federal laws to post prices and to make patient records available per HIPAA.

I’m here to remind the Commission that only four years ago EAMC kited its last $31.7 M bond, the same year it settled the $6 M fraud case. The financial underpinning of this bond is the “Special Hospital Tax” where Lee County taxpayers pay approximately $7M per year. EAMC is also the recipient of a special hospital tax in Chambers County. Ironically, the County taxpayer also pays this Hill-Burton hospital, hundreds of thousands for inmate care. Now EAMC wants $13 M more. Soon it will be back to ask to float another bond issue. When will the Commission staunch the bleeding?

Commissioner Cannon, you and I have spoken about EAMC. Your experiences at EAMC with your children make you intimately aware of the abuse. I have come before this body many times to shed light on this abuse, to ask this body not to endorse any appointment to the EAHCA Board unless said appointment is linked to proper health care and compliance to State and Federal law. I am asking you again to vote “no” and to discipline this hospital.

Commissioner LaGrand, we too have spoken about EAMC issues. I believe you have family members who’ve had unpleasant experiences. As the only Commissioner that has had the courage to break ranks and voice your convictions with a “no” vote, I’m asking you to vote “no” again tonight and to condition any future grant of taxpayer money to EAMC to ending malfeasance and holding those responsible accountable.

I ask each Commissioner to search his conscience and vote “no” to giving EAMC more money until it can show it provides proper care to all, posts prices, complies with HIPAA law and stops the FRAUD. Place this issue on the Agenda and I will present documentation of the fraud cases, the Judgments, the Settlements, the Fite case four years ago where EAMC paid $6 for Medicare/Medicaid Fraud, another fraud case of placing stents in folks who didn’t need them, saddling the taxpayer with bonds mandating a never-ending Special Hospital Tax. So long as there is bond debt, by law, there must be a Special Hospital Tax.

This issue has been brought before this body many times. The Commission cannot say it does not know. Note that Revenue Commissioner Oline Price does not reveal the Special Hospital Tax on her property tax bill. She has ignored Open document requests for special hospital tax amounts paid to EAMC and this affords EAMC the cover it needs to continue its fraud. Should the Commission fail to hold EAMC responsible and vote tonight to give a corrupt institution $13 M, I, too will join Lance and advise you to “Hang your heads in shame”. Each vote will be noted, and the record will be published come election time.

I understand that airing this citizen communication would shine unwelcome light on this issue, but the failure to include citizen comments with the rest of the meeting on the taxpayer funded County website broadcast, is antithetical to the democratic process and an abomination. Shame on Gary Long for his so-called “Streamlining”. We continue to strive for transparency and accountability."

-Peter Byrd was unable to deliver the full content of this public communication due to the time restraints set by the Commission.

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