[Marxism] Admin supports cutthroat capitalist hospital-building

Lou Paulsen loupaulsen at sbcglobal.net
Fri Jul 23 10:41:36 MDT 2004

Online alert from Modern Healthcare:
FTC/Justice panel: Abolish CON laws
Two years of hearings into healthcare competition conducted by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust division have boiled down to a jolting recommendation: abolish certificate-of-need laws. The report released today, Improving Health Care: A Dose of Competition, also recommends eliminating other barriers to competition and seemed to support the growth of specialty hospitals, pay-for-performance incentives and expanded state licensure boards as ways to increase quality and lower healthcare costs. The agencies reiterated their opposition to collective bargaining by independent physicians and provided a roadmap for state and federal legislators to increase competition in healthcare to lower costs and improve quality. 
(Note from LPa: Certificate-of-need laws prevent corporations and the richer not-for-profits from undercutting existing public and poorer not-for-profit hospitals and driving them into bankruptcy by aggressive competition and expansion, including building "specialty" hospitals that pick off the most affluent patients, the more profitable procedures, etc.  This is a call for the massive deregulation and privatization of the hospital industry.)
(At present only about 13% of US hospital beds are in for-profit hospitals.  However, the important thing to remember is that in the capitalist marketplace, not-for-profit hospitals have to compete just like for-profits.)
Lou Paulsen
member, WWP

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