With the news of the failure of the U.S. Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act, one has to wonder what effect, if any, all this has on our local providers and quality of care. Monkeying with any system often has unintended consequences, no matter how noble the intentions.

Make no mistake, there will be some sort of reform over the next several months, and everyone needs to prepare for whatever comes down the pike.

Locally, I can’t help but think of our doctors, nurses, and other health care providers whose livelihood hangs in the balance, not to mention the effect on Minden Medical Center. Add to those pharmacies, and other healthcare-related entities. What happens in Washington D.C., and Baton Rouge for that matter, is felt right here in our community.

According to the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, Minden Medical Center is Webster Parish’s 5th largest employer. That statistic should be an eye opener for all of us.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Minden Medical Center Board of Governors. That being said, the facts are the facts. Healthcare in Webster Parish is a vital industry.

When it comes to health care, we all have a choice. We can choose where to seek primary care. We can choose what emergency room to visit. We can choose where to seek specialists. We have that right.

When faced with those choices, do we ever consider the community impact of the decision? Do we see the faces of all the providers and staff who rely upon our choice for their income?

Just about all of us have friends or relatives who work in healthcare. Trips to Minden Medical Center often look more like reunions than business transactions. That is a good thing for all of us.

In business, the market gets to decide whether a company succeeds or fails. If the market sees value in the product, business, or idea, it succeeds. If the market doesn’t support things, then failure is on the horizon.

Just like any other local business, we should put our money with our mouth — and other body parts — where we live. We should support our local providers and hospital when circumstances provide us with a choice.

We have little control of what takes place in Washington D.C., outside of the voting booth. The same is somewhat true about the happenings in Baton Rouge. But, we all have the ability to positively affect things here at home, by the decisions we make.

Whether you prefer Obamacare, Trumpcare, or some other form thereof, we all can support “Minden” care.

David Specht is president of Specht Newspapers, Inc. He may be reached via email at dspecht@press-herald.com.