The more than $370 million in damages in West Virginia caused by the June 29 derecho and Superstorm Sandy seems enormous until compared to the damage Sandy caused in the northeast.
Sandy cost the Long Island Power Authority an estimated $800 million, a company executive told The Wall Street Journal. The authority is just one of numerous utilities that provide electricity to the New York City region.
Sunday's column quoted Tom Jones, president and chief executive officer of West Virginia United Healthcare System, as saying, "West Virginia is the only state that regulates the rates of hospitals. I think if it worked, you would see other states doing it."
That prompted a reader to write, "When quoting Tom Jones you stated that West Virginia is the only state that regulates hospital rates. Sweeping statements like that scare me. A quick Google search revealed that Maryland has regulated rates since 1977 and I am sure other states do likewise."
I emailed Jones to ask if I had misquoted him.
"You did not misquote me," Jones replied. "The only other state that does regulate is Maryland. However, they have a special federal exemption that no one else can get and they set rates for every payer including Medicare, Medicaid and the state insurance program. All pay the same and there is no cost shifting. West Virginia only regulates commercial payers and there is no other state that does that to my knowledge."