Surgery Center of Oklahoma Blog

August 28, 2011

Frederic Bastiat and Not-for-profit hospitals

Filed under: Uncategorized — surgerycenterok @ 2:57 pm

Remember Bastiat’s concept of “what is not seen?”  When something gets broken or destroyed, some in the community see this as a stimulus for the economy putting people to work fixing the damage.  Bastiat rightly pointed out that all of this effort and money and time only serves to get back to where you started.  No improvement.  No net gain.  He pointed out that “what was not seen” was what might have been done to improve the overall lot with the money that was spent, had the damage not been done in the first place.  Otherwise burning down an entire city would make sense…just think of the jobs that would create rebuilding it!!  Obviously this is insanity.

Now,   check out this article.  Basically, St. Louis based Sisters of Mercy plans to spend 192 million dollars in Ft. Smith on a hospital.  They plan to spend about 400 million in Arkansas alone.  In a four state area they plan to spend 4.8 billion. Billion! What?  Where did this money come from?  I’ll tell you where it came from.  It is the unholy spawn of the $40 box of Kleenex and $100 aspirin at their hospitals.  I thought they were not-for-profit.  Consider that this outfit has worked extremely hard to destroy the private practice of physicians everywhere they go by aggressive and hostile purchases of private physician practices, most of the time accompanied by legitimate threats of “cutting the doctor out of their network.”   Consider that this outfit has worked hard to insure that they had no competition through political and other means.  Consider that they have arranged reimbursement rates from insurers that are 4 to 6 times that of nearby surgery centers and specialty hospitals they have worked hard to crush with behind the scenes tactics.  Consider that had this outfit been subject to normal competition that every other business must endure, this extraction of billions out of the communities they purportedly serve would never have happened in the first place.

Back to Bastiat.  Someone in the Ft. Smith area must be thinking, “wow…I sure am glad that this hospital system is investing all of this money in health care here.”  ”Look at all of these wonderful buildings!”  ”Look how great all of this investment is for the community!”

I am thinking that this is like a successful bank robber stopping off at a convenience store on the way out of town to buy a coke and some smokes with the loot he has stolen, all the while proclaiming that his purchase was good for the economy.  What might have been done with all of the money paid to this outfit had folks not been fleeced in the first place with this overpriced care?

The billions that these not-for-profit (don’t pay tax) hospitals have acquired over the years, have come from charging exorbitant rates and breaking the backs of hardworking people every day.  When cheaper and better care raised its head, these Mercy-less goons have worked every angle to hamstring competitors, insuring that their racket could continue.  I hope the people in Ft. Smith and other areas where this outfit operates will remember all of the marble and mahogany in these palaces when they see their hospital bill.

Don’t get me wrong.  We need hospitals.  We need for them to be profitable.  For all the community service they claim to do though, they would do a better service to cease extracting billions from the sick.  When the Sisters of Mercy has a bankroll like this it should surprise no one why health care is so expensive in the U.S.:  it has to be in order to support these Mercy-naries.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

  • Share/Bookmark

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress