Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hospitals Can Afford More Cuts, I Reckon

In my June 15 post I noted how crazy it was that doctors would support a move towards socialized medicine. Today it's hospital presidents who are offering to sell their soul to a decreasingly popular president.

Hospitals are willing to give up an estimated $150 BILLION in future payments to defer to the "crisis" in healthcare that socializing it will apparently solve. Now I know that when the standard jargon for budgets now includes the word trillion, we aren't as phased by a mere $150 billion. But how hospitals can operate by accepting that much less in revenue is truly puzzling. I presume the only way to do that is to cut operating costs. To cut operating costs, you can layoff staff or simply reduce the services. I didn't know hospitals were in such a plush position from a cash standpoint that they can take a hit of this magnitude. I've noticed that many hospitals, especially in inner cities, have closed in recent years.

I suppose the idea now if just to accept anything and figure out the details later. If I were a hospital employee or future patient (which I certainly will be at some point), I would be concerned.

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