August 27, 2010

Let's shovel the blame off to another group

It's the hospital's fault!  No, it's the doctors' fault!  No, it's the state's fault!  There's comedy gold in the comments at the link.

I'm just stymied at how this whole situation came to be.  People in the real world understand that if you don't pay your bills, your service gets cut off. Why did the state think it was exempt from this?  The only rationalization I can come up with is that the state figured that with a lack of incoming tax dollars they could cut services to those who aren't paying a portion of the tax burden.

Regardless of who the blame finally comes to rest upon in this whirling dervish of finger pointing, it's obvious that we're seeing a harbinger of things to come.  Unfortunately, the resolution I see forthcoming given the current makeup of our state government is legislation requiring doctors and hospitals to accept Medicare and Medicaid for at least a portion of their patient load, regardless of whether it causes docs to run in the red.  Never mind that if doctors are running at an income deficit, they're not paying taxes into the system so they can treat patients with government or no insurance.  And then there's the issue of the 3,000 patients on the waitlist to see a family doctor at Denver Health - running doctors out of practice by reducing their income causes a shortfall of doctors, which in a free market would mean that doctors could ask for higher compensation, which would encourage more people to become health care professionals, which would lower the compensation rate until market equilibrium was achieved.  What part of the free market is failing that there are 3,000 patients without basic medical care?  Can't we just set up a clinic where doctors will work for free, never mind the costs of running that clinic and never mind the costs the doctors and nurses and medical technicians and receptionists incurred to become educated to do their jobs, and all the equipment and maintenance for that equipment can be free, and we should be able to just compel the building owner to give the clinic free rent and the utility companies to provide heat and lights for free and the labs should run all the tests for free too! 

A concerning side note: We've been hearing that the state is running at a budget shortfall of $60 million.  Where would our shortfall lie if the state were paying its bills?

Posted by: Alice H at 12:03 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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