Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Sept. 18, 2000 / 17 Elul, 5760

Michelle Malkin

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports


New York: Land of medical pork

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- HILLARY CLINTON AND RICK LAZIO agree on one thing: New York deserves medical pork.

The two U.S. Senate candidates debated this week, both eager to highlight what the First Lady called their "big differences." But on the issue of restoring public subsidies for one of the state's most powerful special interests – teaching hospitals -- Hillary and Rick are bosom buddies.

Under Medicare, the federal government covers both the direct and indirect costs of educating future medical doctors. Taxpayers funding of graduate medical education totals $7 billion a year. Roughly one-third of that goes directly to medical school teachers, classroom overhead, and residents' salaries. Teaching hospitals receive up to $100,000 per year for each resident trained, and after paying their salaries (an estimated $50,000 per resident), hospitals can pocket the rest of the federal funds.

New York has more teaching hospitals -- 57 -- than any other state. Fifteen percent of the nation's doctors are trained there. The average Medicare payment for each trainee is reportedly more than four times as much at some New York hospitals as compared to teaching hospitals in other large cities.

Why should the rest of the nation's workers pay for graduate medical education and residents' salaries? Hospital lobbyists argue that the subsidies help offset the costs of enhanced care. But when an independent panel set out to verify that claim, it learned that no study or survey existed that had ever quantified the cost or value of enhanced care at teaching hospitals. One healthcare lobbyist told Modern Healthcare magazine last fall that architects of the medical training subsidy program picked numbers ''out of the sky.''

The doctors' lobby argues that the profession provides a vital public good that deserves federal support. Funny how this "public" good reaps such huge private rewards for M.D.'s. The education subsidy is a fancy way of getting taxpayers to foot the tuition bills for supposedly impoverished graduate medical students -- who then go on to make median incomes of $170,000 a year.

Other medical professionals who provide vital health care services for much lower salaries – from emergency medical technicians and midwives to biotech researchers – don't receive public funding for their education and post-graduate training.

Both Mrs. Clinton and Rep. Lazio claim to advocate fiscal discipline. In perhaps the most laughable moment of this week's debate, the First Lady declared herself a "New Democrat who supports a balanced budget." But neither she nor Rep. Lazio criticized Congress for reneging on the 1997 Balanced Budget Act and restoring $15 billion in Medicare cuts to whining teaching hospitals that couldn't survive in the marketplace without the subsidies.

It's bad enough that teaching hospitals and medical schools get hefty helpings from the public trough to train doctors. But can you believe that Congress and the White House also agreed to pay teaching hospitals around the country hundreds of millions of dollars [ital]not[ital] to train doctors? The program, also part of the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, was intended to reduce a purported glut of doctors by offering financial incentives to reduce residency slots by up to 25 percent over six years. The Balanced Budget Act earmarked $400 million in Medicare funds for New York teaching hospitals that participated in the project.

Mrs. Clinton, who in her former life as health care reform czarina proposed to cut the supply of doctors and specialists by 25 percent and 50 percent respectively, now calls teaching hospitals the "crown jewels" of New York's health care system. She pledges to do all she can for the Empire State to keep the money coming. At the same time, Mrs. Clinton yammers endlessly about preserving Medicare. But she ignores the questions of why Medicare continues to funnel billions to pay for training doctors' salaries – with no proof that it actually benefits Medicare recipients – and at the same time, pays hospitals not to train doctors.

The choice for New Yorkers is clear: a native son who has always been honest about his desire to bring home the bacon or a forked-tongued carpetbagger willing to hustle for hospital dollars in her monomaniacal quest for power.


JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.

Up

09/13/00: Voices from the womb
09/11/00: No cure for generational pain
09/08/00: Notes on a West Coast wilding
09/06/00: Race matters at Washington Post
09/01/00: For those who labor 24/7
08/28/00: There's something about Rudy
08/25/00: A conservative case against Napster
08/22/00: Death Row Marv mocks justice
08/18/00: The party of Maxine Waters
08/14/00: "Make-A-Wish" shoots down dreams
08/10/00: Who will stop Bill Lann Lee?
08/07/00: Emily Dickinson's lesson for rude drivers
08/03/00: Leave the slogans behind
07/31/00: Hey, GM: Build cars, not quotas
07/28/00: Stop milking The Juice
07/24/00: Silencing Jeff Jacoby
07/21/00: Score another one for TV execs who want to keep us brain-dead
07/17/00: Can somebody say McStupid?
07/12/00: Beware of Ugly Building Syndrome
07/10/00: The miracle of a lead pencil
07/07/00: Partying on the people’s dime
06/29/00: When "Indians" exploit their own
06/23/00: Kids in a public school daze
06/21/00: Fed up with Fannie and Freddie
06/19/00: D.C.'s gag order for Christians
06/16/00: Dads, daughters, and PETA's spoilsports
06/13/00: Tune out Eminem's pitiful "poetry"
06/07/00: "Pained" Dem leader Torricelli deserves to feel some; Why hasn't he?
06/05/00: Tom Green's hidden health-care lesson
06/01/00: Farming out the pork
05/30/00: The perils of medical quackery
05/26/00: Awarding medals by race is a disgrace
05/22/00: Have Simon & Schuster execs lost their minds!?
05/17/00: Sports plebes vs. plutocrats
05/15/00: Whitewashing Red China's record
05/12/00: Our mothers' hands
05/08/00: Focus on the real Waco
05/05/00: An Internet victim's sad story
05/03/00: Phony pooh-bahs of journalism
05/01/00: Zoo tragedy triggers dumb reaction
04/24/00: Ecoterrorists on the loose
04/19/00: Beware of Elian's psychobabblers
04/17/00: The truth about Erin Brockovich
04/13/00: In defense of an armed citizenry
04/10/00: Playing hardball with taxpayers
04/06/00: Read W.'s lips: More new spending
04/04/00: The liberal media-in-training
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children
03/28/00: Declaring war on HOV lanes
03/22/00: Clinton and the Echo Boomers
03/17/00: Is Bush a Liddy Dole Republican?
03/13/00: Katie and the politics of disease
03/10/00: Maria H, Granny D, and the media Z's
03/07/00: Bubba Van Winkle wakes up
03/03/00: Double standard for day traders?
02/28/00: Sluts and nuts --- and our daughters
02/24/00: Zoning out religious freedom
02/15/00: The Baby Brain Boondoggle
02/10/00: Buddhist temple untouchables
02/08/00: CDC: Caught Devouring Cash
02/04/00: Hillary's poisoned poster child
02/01/00: Corporate welfare on ice
01/28/00: The silly sound of silence
01/26/00: The Old Media meltdown
01/20/00: The pied pipers of KidCare
01/18/00: Our imperious judiciary
01/14/00: Tune out Columbine chorus
01/12/00: Dying to be an American
01/10/00: Time for smokers' revolt?
12/30/99: Reading, writing, PlayStation?
12/27/99: Fight money-grubbing mallrats
12/23/99: Christmas for Cornilous Pixley
12/20/99: Who will help the Hmong?
12/16/99: Shame on corn-fed politicians
12/13/99: EPA vs. the American Dream
12/09/99: Look behind the Pokemon curtain
12/06/99: Amateur hour in Seattle
11/30/99: Stop the Ritalin racketeers
11/23/99: Welfare for a sports fatcat
11/19/99: Jeb Bush's political ploy of the week
11/16/99: Ben & Jerry serve up junk science
11/12/99: A monumental waste of our veterans' resources
11/10/99: Tax-and-spend schizophrenia
11/05/99: Spooky Guy Haunts the Capital
11/02/99: Mourning the loss of the last Liberty Tree
10/27/99: AOL goes AWOL on parents
10/22/99: The persecution of Harry Potter
10/20/99: Don't doctor the law
10/14/99: The trouble with kids today
10/12/99: Pro-animal, pro-abortion, anti-speech?
10/07/99: Beltway press corps needs more skunks
09/30/99: ESPN overlooks athlete of faith, grace, and guts
09/27/99: Personal freedom going up in smoke
09/15/99: Farewell, "Miss" America
09/10/99: Will George W. work for a color-blind America?
09/03/99: Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis
08/27/99: America is abundant land of equal-opportunity insult
08/10/99: Protect the next generation from diversity do-goodism
08/04/99: Sweepstakes vs. state lottery: double standards on gambling
07/21/99: "True-life tales from the Thin Red Line" (or "Honor those who sacrificed their lives for peace")
07/21/99: Reading, 'Riting, and Raunchiness?
07/14/99: Journalists' group-think is not unity
06/30/99: July Fourth programming for the Springer generation
06/25/99: Speechless in Seattle
06/15/99: Making a biblical argument against federal death taxes

© 2000, Creators Syndicate