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Friday, January 01, 2010

More canaries become worm food

First of all, the obligatory "Happy New Year". I happened to have slept through it, but...
I came across this headline yesterday:"
Mayo Clinic in Arizona to Stop Treating Some Medicare Patients".Arizona-land of the snowbird and frozen tundra retirees. Arizona, where Phoenix is the kidnapping capitol of America. So, I read on. I discovered that Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic are non-profit (Mayo and Cleveland are ranked #2 and #4 ,respectively, in the nation). The article goes on to report that the Mayo Clinic Organization lost $840,000,000 treating Medicare patients last year, $120,000,000 of that in Arizona. The article goes on to say that there has been a 20% payment gap (for Medicare) nationwide, for at least a decade. Now, as a businessman, 20% means that in a non-profit atmosphere, that disparity is eating into your overhead recovery. In other words, you're not only not making money, you're losing money on each patient. And from the article, that's been going on for over a decade. OK, multiply 10 x 20% = 200%, meaning that 2 full years of revenue, not profit, but revenue have been lost over the past decade. Now, how does a business make up the difference? Only two ways: increase revenue and/or cut expenses. It ain't rocket science. Well, if you are offering a service with so many hours in a day and so many providers, you can charge more for those who pay in order to cover your losses (sound familiar yet? Now, you have another clue as to why aspirin in a hospital costs $10). Eliminating a non-profit or a pure cost item is eliminating an expense. Therefore, Medicare gets dropped. Yet, the Obamacare package is going to cut Medicare reimbursements by approximately $500,000,000.
So, where do Medicare retirees go now? What next? The article states that 92% of American doctors participate in Medicare, but that only 73% are taking new Medicare patients. I'm 60. I'm on the front edge of the wave called the Baby Boom. We will bankrupt the system that is now underfunded by tens of trillions of dollars. What will happen when the Baby Boomers behind me flood and overwhelm the system's ability to even come close to adequately funding the Medicare Plan? When you have the likes of Boxer, Feinstein, Franken, Klobuchar, Schumer, Jackson Lee who can't even give money away are now in charge of health care?
There will absolutely have to be rationing of health care. There is no way around it. The laws of economics are like the laws of physics- they are inevitable. There will be bureaucrats sitting someplace in a conference room. They will decide what treatments will be offered to what types of patients. Yah, that's right, people will have to die for lack of treatment for lack of money, aka the bureaucrats will therefore compose "death panels".
The truth hurts.
Oh, and you, me, everyone else-the good news: we can opt out. The bad news:but we'll be fined and/or be put in prison.
Bring it on...

P.S.- Seems even countries where there is complete and absolute government control experience the immutability of the laws of economic.


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