Home > business, nonsense and such, opinion, Pittsburgh, political, rants, scams > Pittsburgh’s Favorite Monopoly finally gets called out

Pittsburgh’s Favorite Monopoly finally gets called out

utternonsenseprodIf you live in Pittsburgh and the first four letters that come to mind when you read that post title are U.P.M.C. … you got it right.

Organizations are finally getting tired of a for-profit business working under the guise of a non-profit business taking advantage of Pittsburgh (although, if our politicians would collectively “grow a set” they probably wouldn’t be able to). They are also getting tired of them trying to eliminate the competition (otherwise known as the Microsoft-effect by some).

Well, in the latest chapter of UPMC, West Penn Allegheny Health System is suing UPMC for anti-trust and price fixing with Highmark, and probably rightly so. UPMC is accused of depressing rates to insurers while increasing costs to consumers amongst other things. Considering UPMC did it’s best to try and eliminate West Penn around 2000, I’m hoping West Penn shakes up UPMC perfect next a little … or at least causes is to break up into smaller organizations. The amount of damage UPMC would do to this area if it ever failed is unimaginable. That fact that if continually takes advantage of Pittsburgh by putting it’s profitable businesses under the cover of non-profit is just plain wrong morally and in business.

Click Here for a reference article from the Tribune-Review.

-SWB

PS – Supporting a local business is good – supporting greed monopolizing idiots is not.

UPDATE:

SWB wanted to re-post part of a comment from a reader that goes by “Truth Williams” so you can see the other side of the story, here it is (the only information we give you other than Truth’s comments is that the reply came from an UPMC IP address, which AOL so nicely furnishes … that doen’t mean the information presented is not legit):

“If a hospital has $200M in operating profit (forget the $600M always quoted…400M was investment income and its likely all gone now)…they spend 175M on capital…there is 25M left in the fund balance, that gets rolled over to the next year when the capital requirements could be higher than the operating profit (so using my example, if they have $200M in profit the next year and spend $225 on capital…then all of the “profit” that you want to tax is gone. If hospitals had to pay a 30% tax on profits…then, in my example…$60M a year would be sent to washington DC and Western PA would see none of it. Instead, there would be $60M a year less in capital expenditures/construction…and/or jobs would be cut to decrease salary expense and maintain profit so that dollars would be available for needed capital.

It is a closed loop system….the profits can’t go back to anyone…there are no shareholders…it has only a board of directors. Hospitals have a charitable mission so ALL spending needs to be for operations or to further its mission.

The only question you should ask…is it being run well? is it efficienet? does it deliver world-class care?”

SWB would like to thank “Truth Williams” for contributing to this post.

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  1. truth williams
    April 23, 2009 at 1:57 am

    “a for-profit business working under the guise of a non-profit business”….so if a hospital doesn’t have any profit…what do they use to pay for equipment and building improvements and expansion? Healthcare is a heavily capital intensive business…tell us, Brainiac, what do they do? Borrow and leverage up like West Penn?

    Highmark pays terrible rates…the truth is that Pgh has some of the lowest commercial insurance rates in the country…just look at Philly and Cleveland. But no one cares about the facts/truth…

    • SWB
      April 23, 2009 at 2:32 am

      Good point about the insurance, but you contradict the non-profit point.

      BTW … if you think we are speaking in Highmark’s favor … you are wrong.

      If UPMC makes a profit, they can pay taxes … they don’t pay taxes. They need too.

      You indicated in your comment they make a profit to buy equipment ….. if I make a profit, I still have to buy and upgrade my equipment if I have a business – but I don’t get out of paying taxes. So if you are such a brainiac … tell my why they should (and sorry … “research” just doesn’t cut it anymore … because if they did the level of research they could do with the money they have, UPMC would put itself out of business …. then what would Mr. Romoff do to pay for the fuel is his private jet?

      Our point is – they (UPMC) are too large to allow for any competition, or healthy competition … that is a very unhealthy business situation for a city.

      BTW … we love the name Truth Williams. If you know the truth, Truth …. how about a few links to justify what you say?

  2. truth williams
    April 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    You still don’t get it…I used to work in healthcare…let me help. You probably don’t want to actually understand the business of healthcare, then you won’t have anything to bitch about. So if a hospital has $200M in operating profit (forget the $600M always quoted…400M was investment income and its likely all gone now)…they spend 175M on capital…there is 25M left in the fund balance, that gets rolled over to the next year when the capital requirements could be higher than the operating profit (so using my example, if they have $200M in profit the next year and spend $225 on capital…then all of the “profit” that you want to tax is gone. If hospitals had to pay a 30% tax on profits…then, in my example…$60M a year would be sent to washington DC and Western PA would see none of it. Instead, there would be $60M a year less in capital expenditures/construction…and/or jobs would be cut to decrease salary expense and maintain profit so that dollars would be available for needed capital.

    It is a closed loop system….the profits can’t go back to anyone…there are no shareholders…it has only a board of directors. Hospitals have a charitable mission so ALL spending needs to be for operations or to further its mission.

    The only question you should ask…is it being run well? is it efficienet? does it deliver world-class care?

    Taxing a NFP simply takes dollars away from the mission and gives it to a inefficient government…either in DC or Harrisburg (which then goes to Philly

    • SWB
      April 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm

      OK .. now there is the informative argument we want to see. Thank you.

  1. June 29, 2011 at 3:20 am

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