According to the L A Times "(n)early two dozen private hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange counties, accounting for up to 15% of beds in the region, are in dire financial straits and in danger of bankruptcy or closure, according to hospital administrators, industry experts and state data."
This is not the first time we've talked about the dire financial straits in which hospitals have found themselves, sometimes justifiably.
But it underscores a critical problem: how to balance the public good (adequate access to necessary health care services) with the funding necessary to pay for it. One way, of course, is to increase reimbursement rates. This may be difficult, however, given Medicare's notorious (and ever increasing) tight-fistedness [ed: you just made up that word!]. Insurers follow suit, of course, when they can, but lack the purchasing power of the gummint-run health care program.
Of course, California's solution is to require everyone to buy insurance (rotsa ruck with that), and subsidize folks who "can't afford it." And where would that subsidy come from (remember, the gummint has no money, it simply confiscates what it needs from the taxpayer)? Let's see, now: How about we add an additional 4% tax on the already overburdened hospital system? Yeah, that sounds about right.