The Journal Gazette
Friday, January 24, 2020 1:00 am


Parkview's charity work comes at a cost

There has been so much published in The Journal Gazette lately concerning the nonprofit status of the Parkview health care system. Parkview has trotted out one defender after another; each offers the defense of charitable contributions as justification for their system. I don't know how anyone argues against charity. So instead I will argue for real health care.

Parkview believes the money you pay for health care should be used by them to advertise. Have no doubt, that is exactly what their charitable contributions do.

I won't argue against their “nickel,” the 5% over their costs for future building projects. I think even under single-payer, there will be a need for a building fund.

I understand that all who accept money from Parkview don't want to turn that spigot off. When a Parkview administrator stands in front of the cameras with a big check, who gets the praise? Not the people whose health care dollars they are using to fund that check.

Everyone needs to decide how they want their health care dollars spent. If you think you should pay more for health care to finance charity, then you probably want to continue with this system. If you are like me and think health care dollars should go toward health care, then you probably don't.

I'm not saying Parkview employees don't believe they're doing the right thing. What I believe is they have been operating this way for so long, they don't see the true issue. Every dollar spent on health care should be for health care, not charity and definitely not for profit.

Dennis Powell

Fort Wayne

A good time; a good cause

The Old Crown Brass Band are dedicated musicians who love to play their instruments and perform during the year at various venues in Fort Wayne.

If you have never heard them, put it on your bucket list to go.

They will be playing at Sweet-water Sound Auditorium at 3 p.m. on March 1.

Their concerts are free with a “free will” donation, this time to benefit Community Harvest Food Bank.

Marcia O. Kirby

Fort Wayne

Interest loan caps have a record of failure

The Journal Gazette's Jan. 14 editorial (“Lending change/Cap rates, end impasse on payday loans”) erroneously asserts that an arbitrary 36% interest rate cap on short-term loans will protect consumers when, in fact, the opposite is true. The move would restrict access to credit for Indiana consumers and potentially force them to seek dangerous alternatives.

History has proven that arbitrary caps do not work. Dozens of financial institutions have tried to introduce cheaper substitutes for loans considered high cost, only to eliminate the products from their portfolios. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. also experimented with a 36% interest rate cap, but the loans simply weren't profitable enough for banks to continue offering the product.

The editorial fails to mention that consumers in South Dakota, which instituted a rate cap in 2016, have been worse off in recent years, according to several key financial indicators.

A National Financial Capability Study conducted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority found that more South Dakotans reported having medical bills overdue and only paying the minimum on their credit cards in 2018 than in 2015, before the rate cap was in effect.

Rather than restricting access to loans that customers value and forcing them into worse outcomes, policymakers should work toward real financial inclusion and ensure that all Hoosiers have access to legal and licensed sources of credit. Contrary to popular belief, small-dollar loans are also often the least expensive form of short-term credit, particularly when compared with bank fees or unregulated offshore internet loans and penalties for late bill payments.


Chairman, Community Financial Services Association of America

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