Public Hospitals

Monday Morning Open Thread: Eclectic News Edition

Here's an eclectic collection of stories to start the week off:

  1. From the BBC: Chile miners speak to loved ones for first time. Miners who have been trapped underground in Chile for more than three weeks have had their first telephone contact with loved ones.

    Families queued to use a special telephone cabin and were given one minute each to talk to the trapped men.

  2. From the LA Times: Foreclosures of million-dollar-plus homes on the rise. The number of homes in the $1-million-and-up slice of the market that have become bank owned has tripled during the last three years in Los Angeles County, and the trend has shown little sign of slowing.

  3. From CNN: Author: More teens becoming 'fake' Christians. [Kenda Creasy] Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls "moralistic therapeutic deism." Translation: It's a watered-down faith that portrays God as a "divine therapist" whose chief goal is to boost people's self-esteem.

  4. From the Wall Street Journal: 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.

    Keep in mind that the WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch, and have a platter of salt grains available. -- GH

So, what's new in your neck of the woods?

This is an Open Thread.


Bush Tries to Eliminate Public and Teaching Hospitals: Action Needed

While people are focused on universal care, the Bush Administration is incrementally chipping away at our existing public health safety net. The most recent assault on our public health care infrastructure is escaping the notice of mainstream media and citizen journalists alike, probably because it is not easily explained. I am referring to a proposed arcane regulations change by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) which, if enacted, will result in $4 to $5 billion dollars over 5 years in cuts to public hospitals and other hospitals that serve indigent patients. In addition, CMS is proposing other rules changes that will result in billions of dollars of reductions to teaching hospitals.

These hospitals serve as the backbone of our public health safety net, train the next generation of physicians and health care professionals, and are essential to any kind of response to disaster, terrorist attack or pandemic outbreak. Without them, our already frayed public health infrastructure may disintegrate.