“Taking a Stand for the People”
From the desk of P. Ben Teo, Vice President, Common Cause, Inc. of American Samoa
To: Mr. Moananu Va, Chairman of the LBJ Hospital Board, Mr. Michael Gerstenberger, Chief Executive Officer, LBJ Hospital
Governor Togiola, T. A. Tulafono, ASG
TAKING A STAND FOR THE PEOPLE OF AMERICAN SAMOA AGAINST THE PROPOSED LBJ HOSPITAL FEE HIKE!
1. Common Cause stands with the President of the Senate, Honorable Gaoteote, Palaie and Vice Speaker of the House, Representative Talia, Faafetai Iaulualo and the people of American Samoa calling for Chairman Moananu Va, CEO Gerstenberger of LBJ Hospital and Governor Togiola to reconsider and delay the proposed LBJ Hospital Fee increase until after the Fono convenes in January, 2012 and that a complete financial audit be conducted by the Territorial Auditor for LBJ Hospital.
2. This will give the people of American Samoa some breathing room to manage and navigate through the busy holiday season without the additional financial burden and stress caused by LBJ Hospital fee increase.
3. This will also give the Fono an opportunity to consider, introduce and act-on any dollar infusion measure(s) to assist the LBJ Hospital with its financial crisis.
4. In the meantime, Common Cause stands with the people of American Samoa asking Governor Togiola and Treasurer Magalei to release the 4th Quarter, FY-2011 $3.5 million of the total $7 million of the DOI ‘Operating Grant’ due to LBJ Hospital. This money and action will help sustain LBJ Hospital financially until the New Year.
5. Common Cause also call for Governor Togiola and the Territorial Auditor to conduct a ‘complete financial audit’ of the LBJ Hospital to determine the actual financial conditions of LBJ Hospital and then, recommends that an equal percentage of such fee increase (if any) be determined by the result of this financial audit.
6. Common Cause and the people of American Samoa is currently circulating petitions for signatures throughout the island to fight such hospital fee increases even if it meant going to court for a class action lawsuit. Why? Because, the LBJ Hospital budget submitted and approved by the Fono did not mention nor hint on any indication of a hospital fee increase and here we are only three(3) months into the new money year; both the Chair and the CEO are saying that without the fee increase, the hospital will cease operations!!!!!
P. Ben Teo
Cc: President of the Senate, Hon. Gaoteote Palaie
Vice Speaker of the House, Hon. Talia, Faafetai Iaulualo