Sunday, June 2, 2013


A tweet came through two days ago that grabbed my attention –and now I’ll try to grab yours!
by Charlie Leck

I’m not a tweeter. I only receive a few tweets. I try to be selective and follow people who will be helpful to me (that is, teach me things). Rachel Stassen-Berger (@RachelSB) is the #1 tweeter I follow. She’s a top-notch reporter for the newspaper of the Twin Cities, the StarTribune. If you’re a Minnesotan (and you tweet) you probably oughta follow Rachel and get her helpful tweets. (My friend and fellow blogger, Sam, put me on to Rachel.)

Two days ago, Rachel alerted me to a story about which she said: “Nearly every sentence of this story is more gross than last!” She then referred me to a NY Times piece that appeared on yesterday’s front page…HOSPITAL CARING FOR HEIRESS PRESSED HER TO GIVE LAVISHLY!

I thought it might be worth reading. I printed it out so I could read it carefully and mark it up. My reaction? As an old, wonderful Hungarian friend of mine used to say: “Some-of-a-bitch!”

I’m not a big fan of hospitals these days, as I made clear in my blog about the extraordinary Time Magazine story of a couple of months ago (About the Bitter Pill).

Well, this NY Times story just gives me one more reason to look rather askance and suspiciously at the hospital industry. And, it makes me wonder again about “non-profit” hospitals and medical centers. It’s the public that doesn’t profit, believe me! The executive staff does very, very well – fat – and you can take that to the bank!

I’m not going to retell the New York Times story. I urge you to go and read it yourself. You can speed through it in just a few minutes. Find out how Beth Israel Medical Center took such advantage of this cash cow named Huguette Clark. Mrs. Clark was the extraordinarily wealthy, only daughter of William Andrews Clark and his young second wife. Her father was the king of copper in Montana and a U.S. Senator for a time (1899 to 1907). If you’d like to read about this fascinating fellow, I’d suggest this article in Wikipedia.

A few days ago, I had a fund-raising call from the local non-profit hospital (Abbott-Northwestern) that I have used a couple of times for care. I’ve been regularly donating funds to it. After reading Bitter Pill (mentioned above) I’ve stopped giving until I know more about the hospital’s standard charge rates and the amount of money it pays its top executives. So far I haven’t been able to get that information.

My standard rule is going to be that I’m not giving money to any hospital paying its top administrator more than a half-million dollars per year.

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