Ethics Whisperer

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Healthcare Execs Cry Wolf

The morning paper brings this news: Obama Seen Signing SCHIP Bill quickly. This means $35 billion more for healthcare in 2009. I opined on the company's (Health Ethics Trust) list serve that healthcare organizations are using the general economic downturn as an excuse to get rid of perceived dead wood - and to cut back on ethics and compliance efforts that were never near to the hearts of healthcare executives. This $35 billion is one example of what I was talking about. This is not emergency funding. It makes federally backed healthcare available to children in families with up $84K in taxable income. I can remember when that was much more than a full, tenured professor of business (Me!) earned - and I never considered myself a welfare case. Healthcare is not only not banking or retail; it has something to gain from the suffering in these other sectors - cheap money. So let's not make a bad situation worse by faking a headache when we just want to kick ethics and compliance out of bed. The federal government is in fact pouring money into healthcare at unpredented rates, taking actions that dramatically lower the cost of debt, and driving salaries downward. Does this sound unequivocally bad for healthcare? On the other hand, there is much less good news for health plans at this point as their role in further socializing medicine is so far unclear.

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