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Defusing Health Care's Ratings Bomb?

Back in September I posted an item, linking to a question from consultant Dan Beckham, about whether health care is the next big "ratings bomb."

The November 20-21 Wall Street Journal announced that Meredith Whitney, a prominent banking analyst, plans to set up her own credit-rating firm and is in the process of applying for a license to be a "nationally recognized statistical rating organization," or NSRO.

The article doesn't say whether Whitney's new firm will rate tax-exempt health care debt, though it'd be nice to see the Big 3 credit raters (Moody's, S&P, Fitch) facing some independent, intelligent  competition.

I think Beckham is right - there is a timer ticking in the health care debt market.  Too many hospitals adding too much debt chasing demand that even the dumbest politician now recognizes as unaffordable and unsustainable.  Anybody else worried? 

If history is any guide, the usual suspects will announce a crisis nine months after the bomb detonates.

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