60 Minutes: Never Telling the Whole Story | Obamacare
I was on an emotional high, having just watched the Broncos get embarrassed at home by the Colts. Being a long time Raiders fan, nothing feels better than a Broncos’ loss, unless it’s a Chief’s loss.
Imagine my glee, when “60 Minutes” came on, and on the menu was how Obamacare has not lived up to it’s promise. Aside from the “DUH” factor, I was astounded that such a left wing organization who routinely hacks for the Looney Left was going to have a segment on how Obamacare has not been all it’s cracked up to be. They even had an expert, Stephen Brill, who has written a book about the failings of Obamacare. It was like I had just watched the Broncos get beat, Chiefs get beat, and the Raiders won! With great excitement I tuned in.
Lesley Stahl, Left Wing Hack extraordinaire, starts out very promising, by describing the reality of Obamacare, including no tort reform, or any kind of cost controls. She then takes Stephen Brill and leads him through several scenarios. First up, a person with cancer, who had to spend $80,000 of his own money to save his life and become cancer free. They had a cheap insurance, designed to save them money. “The insurance was so limited they had to pay up front.” Lesley says. So they borrowed $80,000, and now the patient is cancer free. He is so grateful he’s in tears. But wait! He had to pay for it! That is outrageous! So Lesley goes back to Brill, who starts going through the bill the patient received.
The bill includes a $1.50 tylenol, and several thousand dollars worth of tests, plus the cancer drug that cost the hospital $3500, but the patient was charged $13,000. What a mark up! What a racket! This isn’t non-profit! That’s racketeering!
Let’s make the math easy. Let’s say the cancer drug cost $3000, and the charge for it was $13,000. Using Obama’s own statistics, 25% of that $10000 profit is for defensive medicine. In other words, the costs associated with lawsuits. You know, the commercials you see for the James Sokolove Law Firm. Then you have the equipment you use for the administration of the medicine. You can’t EVER use that equipment again. Not the needle, the tubing, the bed sheets, the egg crate mattress, virtually nothing in that room where the medicine is administered. That’s another $1000 right there. Plus you have your regular overhead. Lights, heat, AC, insurance for employees, insurance for malpractice, building insurance, maintenance, upkeep, and all the other things that go into a business, even a non-profit business. Let’s say that amount is $2500 for that patient’s administration of medicine. It’s not far fetched. A nurse at $30/hr, plus bennies, the person who pushes the bed around, administrative costs, since a hospital cannot operate unless the government red tape is filled out, the person who goes over the forms with you, the lawyer who made those forms up, and the cost of disinfecting the room is very expensive. So you are now up to $6000, leaving you with a profit of $4000. Now you have to pay the doctors.
So yes, it’s expensive, and the hospital has a markup, but it isn’t pure profit, and I am sure I am missing something in the expense sheet since I don’t have much experience in the Oncology world.
Lesley also forgot to ask this patient if he thought his life was worth $80,000. Well, was it? We won’t know, because “60 Minutes” won’t ask that question.
Next up was a CEO of a giant Non Profit in Pennsylvania. He made 6 million a year, and several others made over 1 million a year. There was a lot of back and forth about how slimey the CEO was for taking that much money. He explained that running a corporation that size, even if a non-profit, really takes a special skill set. Heck, just running my little office consumes 50% of my time trying to keep up with government bureaucracy, regulations, and other things, such as new regulations coming down the road. So I did a quick calculation of the percentage spent in administration salaries. (I looked the corporation up. It’s public information, since it’s a non-profit) 0.00833. That is the percentage of administrative salaries. Not even Medicare has a admin profile that small. But, well, “that’s a lot of profit, for a non-profit” Lesley tells us. Again, part of the story, not all of the story.
The one part “60 Minutes” did get right is describing how Obamacare became law. “Back room deals”, she says.
And Brill was right as well. “The only ones not getting paid are the doctors and nurses. And the only ones paying are the Taxpayers.”
J. Patrick Bertroche