So says the headline of a two-part article in the Beacon Journal.
“Gary Mecklenburg, former chief executive of Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital, was paid $16.4 million from September 2005 to October 2006, including a nearly $11 million retirement bonus. A Northwestern spokesman says the hospital complies with IRS standards of ”fair and reasonable” compensation.”
“What’s more, even though nonprofit hospitals get roughly $12.6 billion in annual tax breaks and billions more in government subsidies in exchange for community service, there’s no standard for how much free care they must provide. Studies show many hospitals don’t give enough free care to equal their tax breaks, and figures they report can be misleading.”
My first thought is to rescind their non-profit designation but then they’d raise their prices, insurance premiums would sky-rocket (more? still?) and no one could afford healthcare. So I’m going with the “stricter regulations” options instead.
“Or team up with an outfit such as North American Surgery — which pairs patients willing to pay up front with small hospitals willing to give discounts — and you could save up to 80 percent on common procedures like bypass surgery.”
“To follow her example, visit http://www.billadvocates.com/ to find your own bill bargainer.”
Why do we have health insurance?
And if you’re not uncomfortable enough, browse “Checklist: Passport, Plane Ticket, Organ Transplant” for scary and real details of how American insurance companies (including, apparently, W.VA’s public employees insurance fund) are encouraging people to travel overseas for procedures.
As the author of “SuperCapitalism” stated, businesses are neither moral nor immoral, they are organizations who exist for the sole purpose of making money. Unfortunately this extends to the U.S. health insurance industry and medical community too.