Sunday, July 12, 2009

Look homeward, Ted Kennedy

As Ted tries to complete his half-century quest for nationalized health care, it's worth noting what the Massachusetts model has done for the Bay State. From today's Boston Globe, here's "Boston Medical Center forecasts first loss in five years."

Boston Medical Center, the state’s largest provider of medical treatment to the poor, is bracing for dramatic financial losses, which some fear will force it to slash programs and jeopardize care for thousands of poverty-stricken families.

The hospital projects that it will lose $175 million in the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, an 18 percent operating loss that is unusually large even in Massachusetts’ up-and-down hospital industry. The hospital estimates that it will close this year $38 million in the red, its first loss in five years.

Ironically, hospital officials blame the downturn partly on changes ushered in with the state’s groundbreaking mandatory health insurance law, which Boston Medical Center supported and that benefited many of its patients. As part of the law, the state phased out special subsidies for hospitals that treat large numbers of poor patients, a significant shock for Boston Medical Center.
As noted yesterday, the Obama administration is considering the Massachusetts model, writ large, for the entire country. Costs and results seem to be of little consequence.

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