The news story "La Crosse hospitals announce rate increases (Friday's Tribune)" makes me wonder whether the hospital PR departments wrote it.

Instead of a straightforward beginning stating that rates are still going up but less rapidly, it displays a confusing grasp of basic arithmetic. Anyway, the Mayo increase is still a lot.

"Rate increases for La Crosse’s two health care institutions will tick downward again next year, with Gundersen Health System’s 1.8 percent hike being its lowest in 20 years and Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare’s 3.9 percent also extending its trend in recent years."

In fact, the rate increases aren't going down. Increases go up. No wonder "fake news" has traction.

The rate of growth of these increases is slowing, which is somewhat good news, though not as good as the medical industry wants us to believe. We need the rates to go down from their absurdly painful burden on ordinary Americans, which is unsustainable.

Until medical leaders and politicians start to put health care above profits, high CEO pay and campaign donations, most of America is being treated like money-making machines, that is, cattle.

I would hope the Tribune would serve our interests with a clearer picture of the facts.

Lastly, I also wish to acknowledge that our local hospitals are pretty good when compared to the national mess. While appreciating that, let's also be honest.

Robert Larson, Norwalk

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