Cross-posted on Right Michigan at www.RightMichigan.com.
All of the flashy economic headlines in the state have to do with the will-they / won’t-they swirling around Capitol Hill Democrats as they consider whether or not to bail out the Big 3, but with Jennifer Granholm’s decision yesterday to take a break from her vacation tour of the Holy Land to tell President Bush that Michigan doesn’t want the $25 billion he’s already offered our ailing industry, and with Democrat leadership on the Hill moving slower than a snail towards any sort of resolution, let’s take a minute to look around the state and see what else is happening.
And where better, or worse, to start than back in and around the motor city where government run health care just killed 500 Michigan jobs. You read that right. The Oakland Business Review reports that Beaumont Hospitals just announced 500 job cuts in the high flying field of health care. So much for those “jobs of tomorrow.”
The Royal Oak-based health system, on pace to post a full-year operating loss for what Matzick said was the first time in his 40-year career, is targeting the moves toward making a $60 million improvement in its financial position. Beaumont lost $16 million during the third quarter and expects to lose $22 million by year’s end.
No, it’s not because Detroiters are suddenly healthier. Quite the opposite… Detroiters, many without jobs, continue to get sick and to depend on the government to provide their health care.
The biggest factors driving the hospital’s deteriorating finances, Matzick said, include a shift toward more patients who rely upon government-funded Medicaid or Medicare insurance plans, which pay less than commercial plans. Beaumont has seen a drop of 1.5 percent in 2008 in the mixture of commercial insurance coverage by patients, Matzick said.
Chalk this one up to the perils of unintended consequences and let’s hope they’re paying attention in Lansing and DC where every move under the sun over the next four years of Democratic control is expected by most to move us quickly and firmly towards entirely nationalized health care. Listen closely, my Democratic friends… if you take over the administration of health care you are going to kill Michigan jobs.
Do you WANT to kill Michigan jobs? Then why are you talking about nationalized health care? Focus on creating an environment where businesses can thrive, create Michigan jobs and provide health care for their new employees. Think about it… new jobs are new jobs and the insurance they provide will prevent hospitals from laying off other folks which necessarily keeps even MORE people on private health insurance. It’s the proverbial WIN-WIN-WIN.
Just don’t expect any accounts of that particular calculus in your local Michigan newspaper, and not only because of the liberal, anti-business bias of most newsrooms or the old “bleeds it leads” axiom. Because, rather, a host of Michigan newspapers are, themselves, suddenly caught up in the unpleasantness of job cuts. The Detroit News reports:
According to the Grand Rapids Press, the BoothMichigan daily papers will lay off workers and eliminate jobs by establishing one copy desk and ad production location to serve all eight papers.
The group is owned by privately held Advance Publications in Staten Island, N.Y., which would not comment on the cuts.
Wait, a New York company owns Michigan newspapers? Where is the outcry about “exporting Michigan jobs?” Or, well, exporting ownership? And why haven’t we heard about it in our New York owned newspapers?
At least the buck stops SOMEWHERE in that particular industry. Bucks don’t seem to stop anywhere in one of the biggest industries in the motor city, and one that has nothing to do with automobiles. The Ivory Tower reports that the City of Detroit itself is facing another massive budget crunch as we approach the end of the year. How does $200 million grab you?
The report, dated Oct. 23 and placed on the council’s Web site Friday, paints a dire picture of the city’s finances, one that’s much worse than when former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the council agreed on a 2008-09 fiscal spending plan in May that had a deficit of $78 million.
As the city has caught up on the audits of the 2005-06 and 2006-07 fiscal years, the first of which was 14 months late and the second, 11 months late, the new information gleaned from the audits has caused the deficit to grow, Fiscal Analyst Irvin Corley Jr. said.
Shoddy reporting procedures mixed with an administration more interested in forbidden trysts than the work of the people and a population base that continues to flee to city in record numbers whenever possible winds up making one heck of an ugly mess, doesn’t it?
Only gets more disappointing when you remember that this budget is entirely separate from the Detroit Public Schools, so even if the Superintendent stopped using two full-time police officers to tote her bags from car to office and back again it wouldn’t even make a dent in this particular hole. Maybe we can export THIS leadership team to New York?