Saturday, April 23, 2005

Justice & Injustice: The Individual & Institution

I've just found a website I believe to be trustworthy, albeit muckraking, about corruption in the administration of "not-for-profit" hospitals. Their chief contention is that these hospitals, which should be distinguished from "non-profit" organizations, gouge the uninsured and make inflationary profits.

Here is Where The Money Goes

Here is some material from their main page.

April 22, 2005.

Uninsured Week is coming up!
I don't think Uninsured Week accomplishes anything, other than to let some people like the American Hospital Association, run around Washington DC, showing they are "concerned" about people who have no health insurance.
That puts them in a better light.
But here's a suggestion for Catholic HealthCare West (whose parent organization is a major sponsor of uninsured week), maybe you could announce a major breakthrough in making the cost of health care more affordable by stopping your practice of PRICE GOUGING THE UNINSURED!
Probably not, you need those profits to tell Congress that you are concerned about the uninsured.
So instead, maybe you could tell us why you maintain accounts in the Cayman Islands. And how much you have stashed there. END QUOTE.

I know the tone is bitter, but the objective of the site is advocacy, not journalistic disclosure of the corruption.

Meet Sister Mary Dorothea Sondgeroth.
Sister Mary Dorothea Sondgeroth is President of not-for-profit St. Dominic Health Services in Jackson, Mississippi.
We were first introduced to her last December in an ABC News Primetime Thursday investigation titled "Non-profit hospitals profiting off the poor."
ABC News reported that she receives a whopping salary of $525,000.
She told ABC News that "she's proud of her hospital and it's mission of compassion and charity."
While that sounds like alot of money for someone, who according to ABC News "has taken a vow of poverty", it almost sounds okay when you are told "it's helping her support her order."
But wait---a mission of "compassion and charity"?
That made us look closer at not-for-profit St. Dominic's in Jackson, Mississippi.
The hospital is owned and operated by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois.
The hospital mission statement reads in part..."means caring for all persons with respect to their personal wealth".
Well, this little hospital and it's parent organization, in one of the poorest states in the entire Union, apparently knows a thing about "wealth".
In addition to the $525,000 a year they pay the good Sister, they pay the President of the hospital $442,764.
The per capita income in Mississippi in 2003 was just $23,466.
Oh yes, this not-for-profit Christian hospital made a profit of over $6.3 MILLION, and they're sitting on over $19 MILLION in cash, stocks, bonds, etc. END QUOTE.

The profane marriage of medicine to profit indicates the dehumanization of the impoverished. To profit from the poverty of the uninsured is an obvious expression of evil.
The site attacks both institutions and individuals, secular and sacred alike.

Here are some of their sources:

Again we see the attack of the institution against the individual as the chief expression of dehumanization in this society. Our cultural sickness is not sin. It is the inability to care for the afflicted without extracting profit, without turning the compassionate endeavor into long-term theft. The profiteering is a betrayal of the individual and family by the institution to chaos, terror and insecurity.

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