Corrupting Healthcare: Public-private Partnerships

By:  William F. Jasper
06/24/2014
       
Corrupting Healthcare: Public-private Partnerships

Federal and state governments are colluding with favored corporate interests to prevent the competition needed to raise the quality and lower the cost of medical care.

Full-blown, government-run socialized medicine may be the ultimate goal of the political designers of ObamaCare, but the road toward that object runs along the current path of corporate fascism, in which the big, politically connected HMOs, hospitals, and insurance providers profit at the expense of patients, doctors, and taxpayers.

Surgery Center of Oklahoma (SCO) co-founders Drs. G. Keith Smith and Steven Lantier understand this full well, and they are unsparing in their criticism of both Republican and Democrat politicians for advancing this fascist-style corruption of healthcare. As in other sectors of the economy, this politicized medicine often runs under the more attractive-sounding label of “public-private partnerships” (PPPs), in which those lobbies providing the biggest political contributions (bribes, essentially) get to call the shots and write the legislation, giving themselves unfair advantage and eliminating the competition. Both state and federal governments have gotten in on this scam.

“There is no question that the vast majority of blood is on the hands of the federal government, to the extent that they have tinkered with this system for the benefit of their crony pals,” Dr. Smith told The New American. “The state governments have gotten in on the action, as well, by enacting, for instance, Certificate of Need laws. So, let’s say you want to open a surgery center that would emulate the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, and you live in the state of Georgia. Well, then you run into this commission, these guys who are hospital administrators, who don’t want you to compete with them.”

Dr. Smith continues:

They don’t want you to open, and they get to decide whether you get to open. Well, there is no mystery about why that Certificate of Need process exists. There is also no mystery about how it came about. So, any attempt by the government — at any level, state or federal — to thwart the coming into the market of upstarts, of new players, that is completely designed — regardless of what is said — that is completely designed to hamper competition and keep the competition at bay, so that the current, really unsustainable mess continues. But the Certificate of Need laws stick out as the most obvious move that states could make, to just completely get rid of those.

According to Dr. Smith, more than 30 states have Certificate of Need laws. “I think my last count was, there are 37 states that have those,” he says. “Some states have it in some sectors and not in others. They may say we can’t have any more lithotripsy machines unless you go through the commission, or they may say we can’t have any more surgery centers, or we can’t have any more hospitals, or MRI machines. So sometimes they are selective. Some states are not selective at all, because the grip of the big health corporate syndicate is so tight that, in some states, the Certificate of Need applies to just about everything.”

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Photo: Surgery Center of Oklahoma

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