National seniors group hits TV airwaves with ad in support of Blake Medical Center's trauma center

January 13, 2014 

The 60Plus Association, a national seniors advocacy group, has hit the airwaves to rally support for Blake Medical Center in Bradenton and other Florida hospitals fighting an effort to force them to close their trauma centers:

Despite all the uncertainty and heated rhetoric coming out of Washington, D.C., Florida is fortunate to still have autonomy over one of the most crucial pieces of its healthcare system- its trauma network.

But if taxpayer-funded hospitals have their way, your local trauma center will be shut down leaving you, your family, your friends and your entire community without access to life-saving trauma care. This move to shut down privately-funded trauma centers is a prime example of anti-competitive behavior by publically-funded institutions that threatens to decrease access to life-saving care and drive up health care costs.

St. Joseph's Hospital and Tampa General Hospital recently filed motions with the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee to ask the court to close the trauma centers at Blake Medical Center in Manatee and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Pasco, citing their own economic hardships if the new centers stay open, said Stephen Ecenia, an attorney representing Blake Medical Center, said earlier this month.

The filings were the latest move in a three-year legal battle by the publicly-funded hospitals to shutter their competitors' trauma centers. As the wrangling continues, Blake's trauma center remains open.

The 60Plus Association says it plans to spend $250,000 on ads defending the new trauma centers, targeting television viewers in the Tampa, Ocala and Tallahassee media market.

The 60 Plus Association, which on its website acknowledges its reputation as a "conservative alternative" to the AARP, is "a non-partisan seniors advocacy group with a free enterprise, less government, less taxes approach to seniors issues."

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