Murdoch sensationalism at The Wall Street Journal smears tax-exempt hospitals
In the more than 50 years I’ve been reading The Wall Street Journal, I’ve never seen such a biased, front page editorial smear job as it did on tax-exempt hospitals in its April 4 edition.
Even though a hospital CEO pointed out in the last paragraph of the story that there are no not-for-profit hospitals, the Journal chose to sensationalize tax-exempt hospitals by calling them non profits. Catholic Charities is non profit. Catholic hospitals and hospital chains are tax-exempt institutions, and many of them are very profitable. When they’re not, they’re often closed.
The point of the story is that
many tax-exempt hospitals and health care systems are more profitable and wealthier than many investor-owned chains. The reporters and many of their sources think tax-exempt hospitals should be taxed or serving more uninsured and dead beat patients.
While these charts show that CYH, HMA, LPNT, and UHS are all trading below their 52-week highs, they’re showing pretty good strength relative to the overall market, and they all are rallying at the moment. Click on each chart for more information. Time will tell whether these rallies will last long, but the market apparently thinks their outlook is improving.
Eric Novack comments on the Journal’s story, and his post drew several typical comments from those who think investor-owned hospitals and profits in health care are wrong. I believe there are roles for government-owned hospitals, tax-exempts and investor-owned hospitals. And I don’t think you can generalize that ownership has any role in determining the quality of care that a hospital delivers.
Quality of care is determined by how hospitals and others are paid, and the payment schemes used by Medicare and managed care organizations seriously and negatively affect the quality of care provided by hospitals.