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States Face Retirement's Health Costs

Baby boomers are retiring and they're living longer than decades-old projections said they would.  For some states, retiree health costs are growing 20 percent per year.   Can the health care industry survive by bankrupting its own customers?   Let's think about that for a moment.  Ummm, no.

Because that's what's happening, slowly but surely.  Is the problem really one of demographics?  Really?  Or are boomers' health care needs being poorly served by a rapacious, ruinously expensive health care megalopoly?  One day, mayors and governors will awaken to the fact that their biggest obstacle to cost control may not be public employee unions but health care's edifice-driven bureaucratic narcissism, fueled by budgets seemingly without limits.

I know that's harsh and pardon the rant, but I don't see ACOs and their ilk solving the problem unless/until they become vehicles for fundamental cultural change and not the latest lawyer-devised means of separating hospital CEOs from their money.

By the way, I'll admit I'm wrong when I hear a hospital Board tell their architects not to rest until they've designed a new facility able to be operated 30% less expensively than current facilities, even if it means eliminating the light-filled, water-falled atrium lobby.  When I hear that, I'll know something fundamental has changed.


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