• November 21, 2019

OUR VIEW: MCH picking up mass shooting bill is good thing - Odessa American: Our Opinion

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OUR VIEW: MCH picking up mass shooting bill is good thing

THE POINT: Helping those victims and the families of the victims is not just an act of charity. It is an act of humanity.

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Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2019 2:00 am

We applaud the Ector County Hospital District’s decision this week to absorb all hospital charges for direct victims of the Aug. 31 Odessa mass shooting that were not covered by insurance.

This community is still healing from the terror of Aug. 31 that changed this city forever. Making sure that families are not burdened by medical bills is a kindness and we thank both MCH CEO Russell Tippin and the board for making this move.

 “We felt like this was a right thing to do,” Tippin said. “We felt like it was something that we could do. We felt like everyone in our community would support this idea. So, we did it.”

We agree. Sure, we’ve seen the social media posts about using tax dollars to help just certain families. Get over it, is what we say to those folks complaining.

This is the right thing to do and the right time to do it.

It is not to cover all the costs of the mass shooting but just any charges that aren’t covered by the victims’ insurance. Victims will not have to pay anything for the care they received.

Tippin said that he expects around $200,000 to $250,000 from insurance companies and then MCHS would cover the rest.

He explained it was important to do something for the 14 victims of the mass shooting who went through treatment at Medical Center Hospital.

This move comes on the week of another hearing with the House Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention & Community Safety in Odessa. Emotional and moving testimony during that Thursday hearing from family members of the victims showed how raw emotions continue to be in our city.

The MCH offer won’t bring back anyone or make any grief easier to bear. But it will show survivors how much this community is behind them and wants to help them heal.

MCH treated 14 patients connected to the Aug. 31 shooting. Medical Center Hospital started to receive shooting victims around 4 p.m. Aug. 31. Eight of the 13 initial patients brought to MCH had surgery.

All of us should be glad that an elected board was able to reach a unanimous decision on this. We have a lot of drama with elected officials from time to time. It’s good to see that things can be put aside and the good of the community can take top priority.

“After the shooting happened and all of those people got out of our hospital, we saw the outpour of support from this community and really from the nation,” Tippin said.

Let’s all be proud that we have a little part in this act of charity to help our friends and neighbors.

Odessa, TX

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