Friday, November 6, 2009


Wait a second. Isn’t the astronomical increase in costs, seemingly unstoppable over time, one of the biggest problems we face in healthcare? Aren’t doctors and other service providers clamoring for higher reimbursement agreements, complaining about low payments from Medicare and insurance companies? Don’t we keep hearing the drug companies and medical equipment manufacturers warning us that a national healthcare program – apparently any kind of national healthcare at all – will drive them either into market-share disaster or outright bankruptcy?

Has anyone seen a hospital bill lately? Have you visited an Emergency Room? Have you been admitted, sent to a regular room on a regular hospital floor? Have you spent a couple of days as an in-patient? If you have you know how quick and easy it is to run up a hospital bill of $10,000 or $20,000. And if you’ve been really sick, you certainly are familiar with how fast those charges add up to a hospital bill of $100,000 plus, even $500,000 or more. Not sure I'm right? Go ahead, get cancer – have a heart attack or heart surgery. You’ll see.

Meanwhile these same hospitals call themselves non-profit organizations and constantly talk about the difficulties they face in terms of their costs – not yours – but theirs.

So, explain this - In today’s national edition of The New York Times, the full-page that follows the end of Section B – the part of the paper with the Sports section – is completely taken up with an advertisement saluting the World Series Champion New York Yankees – and that full-page ad is sponsored and paid for by “New York-Presbyterian OFFICIAL HOSPITAL OF THE YANKEES.” Imagine that, the Yankees have an “official hospital.” That’s not some kind of socialism, is it? I sure hope not.

No one can be absolutely sure what the cost of ad space is in The New York Times. The newspaper has fallen on hard times. Who knows what they’ll take for an ad these days? Things are so bad they’re even talking about bankruptcy. They must be starving, right? Ad revenue reported for The Times’ latest quarter is down from last year. This year it was only $570 million. Don’t you wonder how they managed to make it on about three-quarters of a million dollars – a day?

Most industry reports indicate that the full-page ad they bought probably cost about $189,000. Of course, New York-Presbyterian made a point – an expensive one too since it costs extra – of buying the “national edition” rather than just the local New York City edition of the paper.

What were they thinking? More out-of-town patients? Perhaps they’re counting on me telling the next ambulance that picks me up in an emergency to… “take me to New York-Presbyterian, and step on it, buddy!”

Last year, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a non-profit, tax exempt 501 C-3 entity with multiple websites showing how many ways you and I can give them our tax deductible “gifts” – in 2008, this hospital pulled in $2,833,500,000 in patient revenue. Count the zeros. That’s more than $77 million dollars a day, 365 days a year. Puts The New York Times to shame. Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

Hey, what’s a measly hundred and eighty-nine grand to congratulate “Our Yankees”?

And one more question – What do you suppose it means to be the OFFICIAL HOSPITAL OF THE YANKEES?

I don’t know about you, but I sure feel better knowing we don’t have any sort of universal, socialized national healthcare. And I’m sure all the tax-exempt 501 C-3 doctors at New York-Presbyterian are doing a wonderful job treating all patients who are in need of medical services, right? Well, I don’t want to be one to tell you, but consider this – a report today in the publication American Thinker says that of the 93 doctors affiliated with New York-Presbyterian in the specialty of Internal Medicine, only 37 of them accept Medicare. Maybe the other 56 internists have to find a way to pay for their season tickets.

Go Yankees!

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