There’s no doubt that every city should have a children’s hospital, but what about three? Gilbert Gaul with Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with McClatchy, takes a hard look at why Orlando and other cities are building multiple children’s hospital, and who’s behind the push.
The leading independent children’s hospitals are nonprofits, but you wouldn’t know that looking at the bottom lines of many of them – and at the million dollar salaries paid to CEOs. They’re pouring billions of dollars into new buildings, adding beds and equipment and staff at the same time Washington, the states and employers grapple with budget-busting increases in health care spending. Hospitals strongly defend the need for new and bigger facilities, and often claim they’re good for the economy because of all the jobs created. But nothing is free in health care: tax exemptions accorded nonprofits help to fund the construction, and all the costs of care ultimately are borne by taxpayers, employers and workers.