Everywhere you look people are tightening their belts.  Unemployment is at levels probably equal to those during the depression if honest numbers are used.  This is a tough economy.  Not much spending going on.  Well…except in certain sectors.  Cameras on every stop light.  Fast new race cars for our constables.  Pet breeder licensing agencies.  Local law enforcement using military drones!  Government growing at a record pace.

Then there’s the hospitals. The largest crane I have ever seen seems permanently stationed at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.  Mercy hospital in Oklahoma City building and bragging about their new 88 million dollar spa virtually across the street from the new and flashy Integris facility.  Where did they get this money?  Where did the Catholic hospitals get the loot to fund their million dollar nun lobbyist?

Talk here is about all of the jobs that these new facilities will create.  How about all of the wealth these facilities will extract from the community on their way to once again making profits at levels that allow them to build even more of these temples to their administrators?  Everywhere I look, I see Bastiat’s “what is not seen.”  What could have been done with the money that bought all of these stop light cameras, had that money been left in the private sector?  What could have been done with the money extracted from the public by these “not for profit” hospitals charging 10 times what we do at our facility?  When someone says, “..that’s a great new medical facility,” I say, “compared to what?”  “Try to imagine that which is not seen!”

I would encourage you to think of these new hospital facilities and expansions more like a cancer metastasis than a positive thing for a community.  Wealth extraction is their primary game, not health care.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.