It’s no secret that Oklahoma hospitals are being squeezed by changes in the health care industry. States like Oklahoma that have rejected expansion of Medicaid funds may be putting nails in the coffins of rural hospitals.

Rural hospitals, and some of those in metro areas, are expected to continue to provide care, much of it through their emergency rooms, to the sick and injured. Much of that care is uncompensated, with insured customers picking up the tab.

Just to our south, Pauls Valley General Hospital filed for bankruptcy nearly one year ago. This week, community members gathered for a prayer session for the future of the local hospital.

A March 4 public vote is planned to increase the general sales tax by a half-cent for hospital operations. If approved, it would provide about $500,000 to help save the struggling hospital.

City officials have said none of the sales tax money will be used to pay off any of the hospital’s pre-bankruptcy debt.

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