I read with interest and an open mind the N&R editorial on Moses Cone Health System’s ‘healthy future.’ A couple of comments by CEO Tim Rice jumped out at me:
..Cone is investing more than $380 million in new facilities and resources. In addition to the new surgical center, its plans include an ongoing, $15 million expansion of the cancer center and a major technology upgrade that will manage patient records more efficiently. As for Cone Hospital, a new $200 million north tower will replace semiprivate patient rooms with private ones. “In this market we should not have semiprivate rooms,” Rice said.
But significant challenges remain, including the still-unsettled federal health care reform debate: “I think everybody is playing their role,” Rice said, “But if we don’t have broad-based insurance, insurance doesn’t work.” And if insurance doesn’t work, emergency rooms bear the burden. Cone totaled $146.1 million in unpaid medical bills and charity care in 2010, up from $96.8 million in 2007.
No elaboration on those comments, so the reader is left to determine for himself exactly what Rice meant. It seems to me on the one hand that Rice is preaching the free market while on the other hand preaching ‘broad-based insurance,’ which I (going out on limb) interpret to mean ‘universal coverage.’
Problem is we can’t have it both ways, and confusing the free market with universal coverage is where those supporting Obamacare lose credibility. Besides, it’s easy for Rice to talk competition, seeing as how Cone has no competition, at least not in Greensboro.Read full article » No Comments »
The Winston-Salem Journal reports:
The company that renovated the Nissen Building won the right Monday to refinance one of the bank loans it used to rehabilitate the building.
The approval came from the Winston-Salem City Council. The council’s approval was necessary for the refinancing because the city of Winston-Salem also loaned the company, Nissen Building LLC, $3 million to help with the rehabilitation in 2001. The building is one of the most popular apartment buildings downtown and is at 100 percent capacity.
What the article doesn’t say is the other ‘bank loan’ the developers are refinancing is —- you guessed it —– a HUD loan.
Lucky taxpayers, they get to subsidize the Nissen Building twice. I’ll say it again —- this is why we’re in this mess right now.Read full article » No Comments »
The N&R print edition reports Rockingham County commissioners voted 4-0 to join the Piedmont Triad Regional Council.
Commissioner Craig Travis abstained, saying the soon-to-be-former Piedmont Triad Council of Governemnts “has provided great service to the county, but he isn’t comfortable with how dues are set.” I have wonder why Travis abstained instead simply casting a ‘no’ vote.
Meanwhile, the N&R editorializes on Guilford County’s pending decision whether or not to join the new council, concluding it’s “reasonable for commissioners to evaluate these programs and their costs, but quitting a regional organization that so many neighbors support would be unwise without a compelling reason.”Read full article » No Comments »