Today’s Boston Globe has an editorial chastising the state’s hospitals for not attending meetings where the subject of health care costs would be discussed.
More specifically, how said hospitals can improve their efficiency.
Even more specifically, how the state expects to pay for its health care plan by having the hospitals maintain their current level of health care with less money.
What’s amazing is that the answer to the Globe’s questions are right there in their editorial — but they just don’t see it. Or won’t.
Double-digit premium increases have hit small businesses, the most productive generators of new jobs, particularly hard…
Insurance company executives at least showed up, although they would not state publicly why they pay some hospitals and doctors three times as much as others for the same procedure…
“Health costs that strangle small businesses – that’s not good for the Massachusetts economy,” Barbara Anthony, the state’s undersecretary for consumer affairs and business administration…
The insurance companies showed up at the meetings because they’re already firmly under the thumb of the state. They know that they continue to do business in the Bay State purely at the sufferance of the legislature, and are already so tightly regulated that they are guaranteed at least some minimal profits — as long as they play ball, and don’t irritate the legislature too much. If they push things, they can find themselves forced to either operate at a loss or shut down entirely.
The hospitals, though, still have a modicum of independence. They know that the state needs them, and needs them to operate without the state micromanaging them — because even the state knows that it can’t try to do that without killing them. It won’t admit that, of course, but it’s clear that they recognize that if you look at their actions.
The hospitals know that the more the state controls them, the worse they will be — and the worse the care they provide. Here the state is trying to pull them in, entice them to cooperate in their own slow destruction.
And they’re not buying.
So the Glob is doing its part in helping the state — by acting as “the voice of reason” and trying to cajole the fish into taking just a little of that delicious worm, and not to notice the hook.
So far, the hospitals aren’t interested in biting.
Which means that the cudgel is not that far behind.