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Friday, April 11, 2008

'06 income for hospitals, health insurers surges

This article shows where a lot of the rising cost of health care is going. The hospitals, HMO's, and insurance companies are making a lot more money now than they were. I don't want to demonize people for making a profit in a capitalistic society. But when and if there is a crisis, the solution can be found in areas like this. If the government were to take over the health care industry by giving everyone health insurance, the doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies would still increase their profits. If we don't address the rising cost of health care, we won't fix the solution. In this article, the medical providers said the same excuse that if they don't make these huge profits they wouldn't be able to provide the new and latest technologies to improve health care. That is the excuse that pharmaceuticals use to say that they need to continue their patents longer and have no price controls. I don't believe any of them. While I can appreciate their need to make a profit. I do believe that the government should be able to regulate non-profit organizations (as most hospitals are) on how much excess income they should be allowed to maintain their non-profit and tax preferred status. This is a good article. Enjoy.

'06 income for hospitals, health insurers surges

Premiums for the 973,000 Coloradans in health maintenance organizations rose in 2006 and so did the dollars flowing to insurers and hospitals, according to a new analysis.

Coloradans enrolled in HMOs paid an average monthly premium of $271 in 2006, up about 2.5 percent from the previous year and nearly twice what they paid in 2000, reported Minnesota health-care analyst Allan Baumgarten.

The HMO insurance companies across the state reported nearly $172 million in pretax income, more than double the 2005 figure.

In 2006, the 22 Denver-area hospitals earned pretax net income of $476 million, Baumgarten reported.

Denver-area hospitals reported a net income of $384 million in 2005, Baumgarten said.

"There's mostly unhappiness in these numbers," said Baumgarten, who compiles the figures on Colorado HMOS and hospitals annually.

"Consumers are unhappy because they're paying more out of pocket," Baumgarten said. "Employers are unhappy too, and the percentage of employers providing health insurance continues to drop. They're throwing up their hands and saying, 'I cannot sustain these increases.' "

Continue reading the article here.

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