Want to know the surest way to kill an enterprise? Force it to endure ever-increasing expenses while at the same time restrict its ability to raise revenue. Want to hasten that death? Accelerate the decreasing revenue while guaranteeing the increased expense. It’s simple math, but you may be surprised to know that America’s hospitals are currently on the losing side of this equation. Equally upsetting, the federal government, which on the one hand is largely responsible for the new calculus in American healthcare, is, on the other, also the largest obstacle to the industry’s natural remedy for it.
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Buckley Carlson, a Washington-based writer and political strategist, can be reached at Buckley@buckmedia.org.
Have health insurance companies in America become so coddled they’ve forgotten what it means to compete for business? Are they so reliant on government intervention, price-fixing, and captive clients that they’ve lost the will to negotiate? Are they aware of the decline and steady closure of America’s urban hospitals, and their role in that process? Do they care? Or, have they become so blinded by greed, sloth, and arrogance that they don’t even notice?
As the world continues to catch fire during the Obama administration’s abdication of leadership, the alarming rise of ISIS and the accelerating Ukraine/Russia conflict have smoked an equally important development right off the front pages: Afghanistan, and the still-undetermined outcome of its recent presidential election.
The consensus seems to be that Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s bankruptcy-extrication plan will need to undergo significant changes before it is formally approved by Judge Steven Rhodes. In fact, most observers agree that the plan would fail to achieve its stated goal of putting Detroit back on sound fiscal footing, and could further destabilize the city’s finances. Certainly, it has failed to inspire financial markets with the necessary confidence to produce essential investment down the road.
As you wade through the ever-mounting requests for your charitable dollars, cast a wary eye on these year-end supplicants, as there’s a good chance the charity seeking your money is relying upon an emotional appeal that is at extreme variance with its actual aims and deeds. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), with its humiliating and expensive defeat last week in its decade-long battle to outlaw elephants at Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, is one such charity.
For liberals, intentions are far more important than facts. That’s why confronting liberals with facts and data is such a Sisyphean task.
Mitt Romney may have just lost his rationale for the presidency. In recent weeks, the Obama administration has been slashing environmental regulations, coddling “Big Oil,” circumnavigating the stickiest of environmental bureaucracies, and sucking up to private equity.