IS IT TRUE May 24, 2013

Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics
Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics

IS IT TRUE May 24, 2013

IS IT TRUE the unintended but poorly thought through consequences of “passing the bill to find out what is in it” came home to roost right here in Evansville yesterday?…longtime local hospital St. Mary’s Health announced that it will be restructuring its business model due to a shortfall in revenue forecasted due to the implementation of the so called Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare?…the immediate impact of this restructuring will be layoffs sufficient to make up for the projected 40% reduction in income of $15 Million?…these layoffs will be happening on July 1 that coincides with the fiscal year of St. Mary’s Health?…while St. Mary’s did not state exactly how many people would be losing their jobs as a result of this ObamaCare restructuring but one can make some guesses based on the income that they are hoping to replace?…if the cost per employee happens to be $100,000 then 150 people will become unemployed on July 1st?…if the pay package is higher that will mean less layoffs but if the pay package is lower that will mean more layoffs?…one of the voluntary casualties of ObamaCare is St. Mary’s President Tim Flesch who announced his retirement date at the end of the year which coincidentally is the exact time that ObamaCare is scheduled to go into full effect?…another hospital in Indiana announced similar plans for the same reasons yesterday?…these are not the first and will not be the last healthcare related layoffs and cut backs associated with the final phase in of ObamaCare?

IS IT TRUE the sentiment to this announcement by St. Mary’s has been for the most part to express sympathy for those who will be laid off and to wish them well in replacing the good jobs that St. Mary’s has been providing in Evansville for many years?…there is also much sentiment that it is high time that the prices charged by medical providers in general were brought down to a place that reflects reality?…comments such as “any company that can’t make money by charging $3 for a Tylenol tablet that costs them a penny and charging over $1,000 per day for a shared room can afford to trim some of the fat without sacrificing the quality of care”?…having some experience with hospital charges the CCO agrees that prices that are charged in hospitals for everyday over the counter products are excessive to the point of disbelief?…most people can understand that a procedure that requires the use of a piece of equipment that costs many millions of dollars operated by a surgeon that earns $500,000 per year is going to be expensive?…it is in the delivery of routine medical procedures and the treatment of things like colds that there should be massive savings if the architects of ObamaCare and healthcare providers can figure out how to simply copy what is done in other wealthy countries that have socialized medicine?

IS IT TRUE that none of us really have any need to be surrounded by the trappings of luxury that would make the Ritz-Carleton envious to get a shot or be prescribed an antibiotic?…none of us really need to be attended by 6 different doctors for an everyday scrape or cut?…most emergency room visits could be avoided by a population that takes care of themselves every day by eating right and practicing simple hygiene like we were taught in high school health class?…it is understandable that the theory of ObamaCare that asserts we can all be covered and still pay less SHOULD BE ACHIEVABLE?…if the architects of ObamaCare had thought things through, negotiated longer and in good faith with providers instead of shaking the provider lobbyists down for campaign donations we may just be on the verge of having a health system that could work for every American citizen?…because the architects of ObamaCare failed to think in their zeal to pass something we are now confronted with higher costs, diminished services, and 30 million people that will not be covered by ObamaCare?…the implementation and details of ObamaCare should have been left to professional managers and operations specialists as opposed to dreamers and hopesters?…it is not too late to defer the concept of universal health coverage until the details of how to cover everyone while cutting out enough fluff and fat to keep health payments at the very least neutral have been established?…if the worst case scenarios expected now by the architect of ObamaCare (who calls it a train wreck) become reality, you can expect a complete nullification movement in the next election cycle that will prevail?…the American people change quickly when they feel the pain?…the do little when being warned?…the unintended consequences of this bill are just beginning to come home to roost?


  1. Our healthcare system is a joke. The first part of your third question seems to provide reason for the layoffs complained about in the first two. Maybe the people weren’t needed and a one hour visit to the ER will eventually not cost $500,000?

    • The cost of ER visits isn’t coming down, John. Heck, most large hospitals now outsource the running of their ER’s to firms that specialize in emergency medicine…and in cutting ANY unnecessary costs. Emergency medicine is by definition expensive.

      The only way to manage ER costs is to reduce utilization rates by diverting people to lower cost providers, such as primary care physicians or clinics. Again, if Obamacare is successful in doing that (I’m skeptical, but open-minded), it may well work.

      • I agree with you. I was trying to exaggerate the cost of healthcare in general because it’s pretty damn high. I hope more preventative care is utilized, which is the goal.

        • That’s the real shame about Obamacare–there was a real opportunity to do something meaningful on the preventive/behavioral side, which is where the big $$$ savings is.

          The problem is that people love to TALK about prevention and changing behaviors…but watch what happens when you talk about taxing Big Macs or tying deductibles to Body Mass Indexes!!! Liberals scream about civil liberties violations and conservatives scream about big government telling people what they can eat.

          We get the government–and the healthcare–we deserve.

          No wonder they punted

          • Surprisingly, I think we have some common ground. Obama care is not flawless, but the status quo was even worse.

            • It is not possible to know which is worse yet. What we do know it that the amount this country spends on healthcare now is well above countries with socialized medicine and about 40 million have no coverage. The expectation of ObamaCare is shaping up to be that the cost of healthcare will be increased by 30% and 30 million will have no coverage. That is not really progress at all. The worst part of ObamaCare is that the IRS is in charge.

          • I agree. The status quo was completely unsustainable. There are some really good things in Obamacare and some things that are not so good.

            But what bothers me most is what’s not in there at all…

  2. The Scream that’s coming as the penalty fee (a tax, as defined by Benedict Arnold, aka Chief Justice Roberts) is extracted without anesthesia from the working poor will reverberate across this country and bring an outright repeal of Obamacare, as the rulers of Congress scramble to save their political patooties from defeat at the polls.

    • There is going to be a massive wave of hospital layoffs and closings sweeping the country over the next few years. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if 15-20% of acute care hospitals shut down.

      Obamacare may be a contributing factor, but it’s certainly not the primary cause, imo. The bigger issues are budgetary–states are cutting back on Medicare out of sheer necessity. Beyond that, Managed Care plans continue to grow in popularity, and they pay a fraction of what providers earn providing the same services to Medicare patients.

      In the end, all of this will probably be a good things for “the system,” as unnecessary costs and duplication of services are ruthlessly eliminated. We will have lower cost medicine and, I think, better outcomes. But the transition period is going to be a bitch.

  3. Although many of us, myself included, see medical (hospital) costs as excessive we also need to remember that they charge more to offset the losses for treating patients who do not pay. This method is no different than paying more for a shirt in a department store due to the fact that the store is offsetting the cost of pilferage. Hospitals write-off millions of legitimate charges due to the fact that the patient(s) either failed to pay, couldn’t pay or had no insurance. If the ACA actually generates an increase in the numbers who are insured, I’m skeptical, then cost theoretically may come down. I also have some real nice beach property in Arizona to sell ya as well☻

  4. If you currently have any kind of medical insurance coverage, Obamacare is going to make a bad situation much worse.

    Wayne Parke
    Chairman Republican Party

  5. The part of Obamacare I objected to and still object to is the forced inclusion of everyone. Of course the rates per individual are going to go down in the interim and maybe even permanently if you’re forcing several million customers into a corrupt system, but ask the guy who formerly paid nothing into that system how much of a hike his premiums took and he’ll tell you “all of it”.

    Does anyone realize that many hospitals actually give you a cash discount? In the case of Deaconess Urgent Care, it’s 30% discount for cash over insurance or credit payment? When I found that out, I again had to ask myself, “and my family buys insurance why again?” Not to mention I have only been to the doctor once in the past, I think, 10 years, and that was for the flu just to get a prescription for something I already knew I needed.

    I prefer a system wherein we require hospitals and healthcare institutions via State Law to disclose in a highly visible location, i.e. their lobby, their website, in brochures, and/or in every room, the actual cost of every procedure they offer from the band aid to the heart surgery.

    Make them post their rates and let’s encourage a culture of competition in healthcare! Third party payers remove the incentive for the hospital to keep prices low and competitive while it encourages lazy consumers who couldn’t care less what the actual cost is…until their next insurance rate hike kicks in!

    Also remove licensure requirements for doctors and other health practitioners and make the policing market and performance based. Remove antibiotics from controlled substance lists and allow them to be bought over the counter directly at the pharmacy and let pharmacists do what they were trained to do and advise their customers, using their records of what you’ve taken in the past, the best course of action with regard to antibiotics.

    New or risky procedures are always going to cost a lot of money, even in a perfect system, but all the day to day, bread and butter stuff most of us end up in the hospital for could be a LOT cheaper very easily. There are two reasons they aren’t: the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry, in collusion with government, of course.

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