Back on March 10, I commented about a story written by Lee Newspapers concerning Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, Mont. In the story, which you can read HERE, some folks in the state accused the hospital in Great Falls of ‘predatory’ pricing.
I commented at that time that the story “seems to have been disregarded by the Great Falls media.” On March 30, the local Great Falls Tribune newspaper picked up on the issue and did a story which you can read HERE (be advised, Tribune stories are only on-line for about seven days before you have to pay to read them).
Although the story was written way after the fact, I thought it was a pretty good story – giving both sides of the issue while tugging a little at our heart when we read about the problems the lady with breast cancer had when she received a bill from Benefis for about $4,900 (this was after her deductable had been met). In short, Benefis decided to stop giving discounts to certain insurance groups, one in which this lady belonged, and that was the problem.
In my opinion, these stories did make Benefis look kind of cold and uncaring and the Benefis CEO did not come across very well – in my opinion. I felt so strongly about it, that I left my comments on the Tribune’s website the day the story was published. I was about number 20 or so who left an opinion. Many of them were not too favorable toward Benefis. My comments were not in any way vulgar.
Later in the day or the next day, I checked back to see if anyone had replied to my comments and to see what other commentators had written. Just like a magician waiving a magic wand, “poof” they were gone. All of them – over 20 of them seemed to have been deleted.
So that raises the question as to why the Tribune deleted them. Maybe they will answer it on their editorial page.
Benefis is a “big dog” in the Great Falls neighborhood. They employ thousands and I’d bet their advertising budget with the Tribune is freaking enormous. Advertisers are the bread and butter for newspapers so if a story or the comments harm or rub them the wrong way, well…I guess until we find out the answer, we’ll have to let our imagination run wild.
By the way, my comment section is always open…