The Ultimate in Irony?

February 3, 2014

A stated primary purpose of the Affordable Care Act is to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health insurance.

Over the past 2 years, we’ve watched and heard elected officials at various levels of government fabricate stories to try and convince us that having a government-legislated mandate which gives us access to affordable health insurance is bad.

The Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY is a “NYS Public Benefit Corporation.” As such, it serves as a regional healthcare referral center, mandated to provide high-quality advanced health services to the residents of the Hudson Valley and the surrounding area, regardless of their ability to pay. WMC also serves as an academic medical center involved in research and education that enables advanced care and prepares future generations of physicians.

According to a report published in April 2012 in The Journal News, the medical center spent $11.8 million in 2010 to compensate 44 executives, with Michael Israel, the CEO, at the top of the list at some $1.4 Million.

Now, in a Kafkaesque twist, this over-compensated CEO of a public benefit health care provider has proclaimed they will not accept any coverage plans offered through the NYS health care exchange! (The Journal News, February 2, 2014).

The Journal News has done an admirable job following and reporting on the perpetual shenanigans which seem to plague Westchester Medical Center. Yet, leadership at WMC seems to continue to ignore the reason they enjoy the benefits of public subsidies from the local, county, state and federal governments.

Here it is: the ultimate Catch-22:

1. You have insurance.

2. The Public Benefit Corporation which was created (and continues to exist) to, “manage a health care system which will provide health care services and health facilities for the benefit of the residents of the State and the County, including to persons in need of health care services who lack the ability to pay..” won’t accept your insurance.

Folks, you just can’t make this stuff up!

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