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Cash-poor governments ditching public hospitals?

Faced with mounting debt and looming costs from the new federal health care law, many local governments are leaving the hospital business, shedding public facilities that can be the caregiver of last resort, says the Wall Street Journal.

More than a fifth of the nation's 5,000 hospitals are owned by governments and many are drowning in debt caused by rising health care costs, a spike in uninsured patients, cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and payments on construction bonds sold in fatter times. Because most public hospitals tend to be solo operations, they don't enjoy the economies of scale, or more generous insurance contracts, which bolster revenue at many larger nonprofit and for-profit systems.

Local officials also predict an expensive future as new requirements -- for technology, quality accounting and care coordination -- start under the overhaul, which became law in March.


Asked by tnmomofive at 12:11 PM on Aug. 30, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 32 (56,190 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • Who needs a death panel, when there is no hospital to begin with??


    Answer by yourspecialkid at 4:37 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • Another TOLD YA SO moment brought to you by the Obama government. LOL

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 12:16 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • I'm not gonna say it... I'm not gonna say it!

    I'm gonna go pack. *ducks head and runs out of room.

    Answer by lovinangels at 12:14 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • Just dumping answers. =)

    Answer by itsallabtthem84 at 6:18 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • tnmomofive

    Comment by tnmomofive (original poster) at 12:11 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • uhhh yep!

    Comment by tnmomofive (original poster) at 12:38 PM on Aug. 30, 2010

  • I've been watching public hospitals collapse here for MANY years before Mr. Obama was even a candidate. This isn't anything new. One of our local public hospital districts started collapsing at the beginning of this decade. They wound up selling one facility off, still coouldn't make the bills. Now they've sold everything to a private physician's group. We'll see what happens, but I haven't a lot of faith. The biggest private operator in our town is also having serious problems.

    And King Drew Medical Center has been a nightmare for most of this decade.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:21 PM on Aug. 30, 2010