ConsumerWatchdog.org on Medicare
I've often mentioned that the guys at ConsumerWatchdog do some good work. They just e-mailed an article that was published in the San Diego Union Tribune. The complete article is here, but here are a couple of quotes that I think you may find interesting.
Between 2001 and 2003, for example, the nation's six largest HMOs increased their earnings and profitability while dramatically decreasing spending on medical care -- taking 20 cents of every premium dollar for their overhead and profit while traditional Medicare spends less than two cents on overhead.
Hospitals get $26.6 billion, which is good news for HCA. This is the hospital chain run by the family of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Frist holds stock in and will receive his inheritance from HCA, which is also the subject of the most massive fraud settlement in U.S. medical history.
The new law was greased by campaign contributions from the big medical industries. Pharmaceutical manufacturers contributed an average of $28,504 to the 204 Republicans who supported the bill, but just $8,112 each to the 25 Republicans who opposed it. HMOs gave the few Democrats who supported the bill an average of $11,654.
Every day, it becomes more and more obvious that any mega corporation with disposable income can buy Congress.