Lawmakers react to Cheboygan hospital closing

The closing of Cheboygan Memorial Hospital has area lawmakers speaking out. Representative Frank Foster who serves Michigan's 107th District spoke with 7&4 News Tuesday morning about the closure.

"For me this is shocking and disappointing because we've been working so hard making sure all of the state agencies were able to make a quick and smooth transition and out of nowhere the federal government after an agreement had been reached, the same government that wants quality healthcare for all, is now turning its back on a community that saved jobs and provided quality healthcare," says Representative Foster.

Representative Greg MacMaster of Michiganâ??s 105th District sent the following statement on Tuesday.

"I'm extremely saddened and frustrated by the closing of Cheboygan Memorial," said MacMaster, R-Kewadin. "Knowing that McClaren was going to purchase the hospital, it is incomprehensible to me that the federal government refused to issue a waiver to protect the health of local residents at the very time they are touting affordable health care for all."

"Cheboygan Memorial is the largest employer in our community and many local residents rely on its services, including the emergency room and out-patient services. It is unacceptable that the Center for Medicaid Services is putting a regulation that can easily be waived above the needs of our local community's health."

7&4 News also spoke Tuesday with Congressman Dan Benishek who serves Michigan's First District.

â??While I know Cheboygan Memorial has been in financial trouble for many years, I am very, disheartened to find an agreement could not be reached to keep the doors of this Hospital open. As both a physician and as a representative, my primary concern is for the continuity of patient care. While the collective efforts of Senator Stabenow, Congressman Camp and local officials have not achieved the outcome we all hoped for, we will continue working together to ensure Cheboygan residents have access to quality health care," says Congressman Benishek.

State Rep. Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle, released the following statement concerning the hospital closure:

â??This action on the part of the federal government is atrocious as it denies timely medical treatment to the residents of Cheboygan County, as well as ending employment for more than 400 hard-working taxpayers.â??

7&4 News will continue to follow this developing story and we'll bring you the latest details as they become available.