Medical costs (was: [SPORK] Gephardt's Plan)

Jeff Bone jbone at deepfile.com
Fri Apr 25 13:58:21 PDT 2003


On Friday, Apr 25, 2003, at 12:12 US/Central, Russell Turpin wrote:

> Jeff Bone:
>> FWIW:  the reason medicine is prohibitively expensive in the first 
>> place is the insane regulatory overkill and its attendant costs.
>
> Maybe.

Sorry, should've cited my source:  my Dad.  He's been running hospitals 
for over 30 years, the last 20 of those in rural areas.  In two 
different communities, he's had to promote local bond elections to 
create hospital tax districts, which is kind of ironic because he's 
generally on the right of the economic axis.  Every time I go home and 
often when I talk to him on the phone, he gives me a microtutorial 
about how federal and state regulatory requirements make it almost 
impossible for smaller and particularly rural hospitals to operate 
profitably.

But to your further points:  yeah, health care insurance is another big 
component of the problem.  But there again regulatory friction is a if 
not the root cause.  And ask any hospital administrator who they'd 
rather try to collect from:  Medicare or e.g. Humana.  Ask them what 
the ratio of business office staff dedicated to handling interaction w/ 
the gov't and handling gov't compliance is vs. those dedicated to 
handling private insurance claims and payments.

jb



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