Readers Write: Nassau’s three pillars of nihilism


Having any kind of interest in public policy is perhaps the most depressing affliction of our times.

Recently, a reporter for a financial website posted a tweet about the bill he received from Mount Sinai Hospital for a perfectly normal childbirth, without even the use of an anesthetic. His wife was billed $27,015.57. Even the baby was billed as well, in the amount of $27,355.46. Welcome to America, kid.

Mount Sinai is a “non-profit” hospital with a 501(c)3 designation. The CEO, Dr. Kenneth Davis, was paid $12.4 million in cash compensation. The head of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, by comparison, earns the equivalent of just under $300,000. Mr. Davis runs one hospital chain. The NHS chief runs an entire nation’s.

Aside from the unthinking rejection of those who claim that this country can’t “afford” a nationalized health system as say, that of Slovenia’s, this is beginning to distort Long Island’s economy.

Our local government and tax structure is so warped, only an organization that operates on the basis of this kind of industrial-scale theft has any chance of survival. Unfortunately, our political class is attracted to money like flies on dung and is then so incentivized to aid and abet it. To do otherwise, to structure our local government to actually function with any level of normal staffing, scale, or cost, would end the deeply embedded network of grift as they know it, and they cannot risk that.

Even if it would prevent the continued erosion of a balanced economy. So this becomes the only game in town, especially since our thoroughly corrupted IDA can’t even bribe it’s way out of a paper bag.

So it was with some dismay that I read that Nassau County is considering eliminating fees for the establishment of non-profit buildings and organizations situated here. Except this isn’t being done for the benefit of the Sisters of Charity.

It’s being done for the benefit of Mount Sinai, Sloan Kettering, and our own hometown health care monopoly, Northwell. When is a “non-profit” not a non-profit? When it does whatever it wants to suit itself, at the expense of the community at large.

One can’t help but notice there is very little business development going on here, except for medical facilities and ancillary services that supply them.

Concurrently, articles appear about yet another manufacturer closing its doors or moving away. If things continue in this manner, there will be three predatory industries left: Public schools, the Civil Service, and health care. No normal industry will be able to thrive. These three pillars of nihilism are eating Long Island alive.

One day, people may wise up and realize that paying for unnecessary lab tests and multiple blood draws to pad salaries and perks is a tremendous waste of resources.

People have to realize the hospital system isn’t designed to keep you out- it’s designed to put you in. The utter lunacy of a hospital chain spending it’s resources on mass marketing for cancer treatment is blithely accepted as a normal facet of our health care delivery system. Spending hundreds of thousands on something as absurd as naming rights to a stadium is judged to be perfectly acceptable.

More dystopian still is that the contributions that pay for these wasteful endeavors are themselves, tax-deductible.

However, not all is doom and gloom: You’ll be happy to know that costs are so beyond what people can afford to pay, hospital systems across the country are beefing up their debt collection departments and hiring staff, the better to harass the afflicted who they have bankrupted ever more effectively. Know why people are afraid of socialized health care? They think their tax dollars will have to fund $50,000 childbirths.

Not anymore, they won’t.

And of course, the political class follows the development money like a puppy, and the ramifications of the ditch they’re steering Nassau’s economy into never occurs to them. Because when it comes to public policy, you could drown these people in a puddle.

Donald Davret



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