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John Livingston

Is Money more important than Medicine?

Thank you to Jann Higdem in helping me with the collection and review of the data included in this article.

There is so much that went wrong with the Covid response strategies and very little is being reported about out briefs or after-action reports or clinical MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY reviews. Mitigation strategies failed. Vaccinations—my family and I chose to be vaxed and boosted, are proving at best to be temporary (Dr. Fauci stated as much in a New York Times podcast last week), masking except for the N-95 masks was at best inadequate and at worst inappropriate. The top-down medical response where protocols (called “best practices”) were required to be followed after being initiated under government edicts called “emergency orders”, for providers to be reimbursed proved harmful. The command-and-control intrusion of medical decision making and the deleterious impact on the doctor patient relationship proves that laboratory scientists and government bureaucrats are not as equipped to take care of sick patients as practicing physicians and nurses. Our own governor placing a hospital administrator and a lobbyist for the hospital industry on his Covid advisory board instead of a practicing physician and/or an ICU or ER nurse proved the folly of that kind of “groupthink.

Equally as harmful to our country has been the economic decisions that were made by “experts” regarding the disbursing of Covid monies. Alysia Finley in the Wall Street Journal in an article entitled THE HIGH COST OF FREE MONEY outlines the harm that was done to those living on the margins during the pandemic. The unintended consequences of “free stuff” needs to be reexamined as we try to lift more people out of poverty as we move forward. Progressive liberals have wrongly argued since the Great Society programs were begun under Lyndon Johnson that handouts without strings attached create better living conditions and healthier lifestyles for those receiving government transfer payments. The results of a recent Harvard study that were reviewed in the above referenced article has implications for designing future government programs for those in need. Now deceased, Daniel Patrick Moynihan—the great liberal Senator from New York, warned us at the time these programs were passed by Congress, that the potential for great damage to those who were trying to be helped was real and needed to be guarded against. Concepts of Christian Charity grounded in Biblical Justice as opposed to social justice need to be reinstated. Charity is always a covenantal relationship between the giver and receiver to which God is a party. “What you do to the least of my brethren you do unto me.” Nowhere in the New Testament is government described as being the conduit for charity.

A Harvard study from July 2020 until May of 2021 randomized low-income individuals into three groups receiving either $500 or $2000 one-time unconditional cash transfer. A group of equal size at the same level of income received nothing. All participants earned less than $950/ month and received $530 of unearned income—food stamps and rent support. The end results were that handouts increased spending in both test groups—but not the control group, commiserate with the level of support that they received—those that received more transfer support spent more. The increased spending had no impact on quality of life or health. Handout recipients reported less earned income, less savings, less liquidity, and more debt than those in the control group not receiving handouts. Most importantly the higher the handout the less one worked. Feelings of insecurity and vulnerability were highest amongst those who received the highest transfers. “People who received a higher proportion of their income for doing nothing, were less motivated to work and less satisfied with their work”. The study went on to opine “that encouraging people to work created a state of agency that encouraged them to make better financial decisions….receiving a handout did the opposite”. Managing money was facilitated by knowing the value of labor. If one didn’t work for the money they spent, their ability to manage what money they had was lessoned.

And it is not just individual financial decisions that are impacted by transfer payments. In a pre-pandemic article in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2018 the diet quality and obesity status of food stamp beneficiaries was far worse than people who didn’t receive food stamps. In FACTFULNESS by Hans Rosling he points out that in America if one is poor, they are more likely to be obese than if one is not poor. This is not true in third world countries where the poor are skinny, and the rich are fat. Bill and Melinda Gates have made the same observations.

But one more point needs to be made. What about all the free—and may I editorialize here and use the term “loose”, money that was given to large hospital systems and pharmaceutical companies to subsidize for Covid Expenses. Below you will see a link to how the money was dispersed to Idaho providers. The link does not show how the money was used. Appropriated by the legislature or allocated by the executive branch a reconciliation of those monies should be a condition for those institutions receiving further transfer payments. Just like with low-income individuals who received transfer payments, unaccounted spending of transfer payments to large profit and non-profit organizations needs to be reconciled and accounted for. If not, we are setting a standard for corruption and collusion that will be costly and wasteful. Audits for transfers should be a cry heard in the legislative halls at our Capital next session. If not, the corruption will just continue.

Payments to Idaho Hospitals

ProviderTotal Paid OutCity
ST LUKE’S CLINIC LLC$ 1,032,014BOISE
ST LUKE’S MAGIC VALLEY REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, LTD$ 37,653,553BOISE
ST LUKE’S MCCALL, LTD.$ 4,780,736BOISE
ST LUKE’S REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER$ 79,355,976BOISE
ST LUKE’S WOOD RIVER MEDICAL CENTER, LTD$ 7,732,434BOISE
ST LUKES CLINIC – WOOD RIVER LLC$ 149,843HAILEY
ST LUKES CLINIC-MCCALL LLC$ 68,972BOISE
ST LUKES CLINIC-TREASURE VALLEY LLC$ 2,308,542BOISE
ST LUKES NAMPA MEDICAL CENTER, LTD$ 7,920,299BOISE
$ 141,002,369
SAINT ALPHONSUS MEDICAL CENTER NAMPA INC$ 6,606,518NAMPA
SAINT ALPHONSUS REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER$ 20,578,170BOISE
$ 27,184,688
BEAR LAKE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL$ 4,580,827MONTPELIER
BENEWAH COMMUNITY HOSPITAL$ 4,067,545SAINT MARIES
BHC INTERMOUNTAIN HOSPITAL$ 571,085BOISE
BONNER GENERAL HOSPITAL$ 5,539,816SANDPOINT
BOUNDARY COMMUNITY HOSPITAL$ 4,116,227BONNERS FERRY
CARIBOU MEMORIAL HOSPITAL$ 4,400,303SODA SPRINGS
CASCADE MEDICAL CENTER HOSPITAL DISTRICT$ 1,942,939CASCADE
CLEARWATER VALLEY HOSPITAL$ 4,262,794OROFINO
FRANKLIN COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER$ 4,199,564PRESTON
GRITMAN MEDICAL CENTER$ 5,856,163MOSCOW
IDAHO FALLS COMMUNITY HOSPITAL$ 2,328,935IDAHO FALLS
KOOTENAI HOSPITAL DISTRICT$ 18,375,876COEUR D ALENE
LOST RIVERS MEDICAL CENTER$ 3,473,881ARCO
MADISON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL$ 6,300,182REXBURG
MINIDOKA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL$ 5,242,688RUPERT
MOUNTAIN VIEW HOSPITAL$ 7,327,830IDAHO FALLS
NORTH CANYON MEDICAL CENTER$ 4,130,046GOODING
NORTHERN IDAHO ADVANCED CARE HOSPITAL$ 575,921POST FALLS
POWER COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTRICT$ 3,494,099AMERICAN FALLS
SHOSHONE MEDICAL CENTER (W SHOSHONE HOSP DIST)$ 1,444,703KELLOGG
ST JOSEPH HOSPITAL$ 6,242,656LEWISTON
ST MARY’S HOSPITAL$ 4,235,085COTTONWOOD
STEELE MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER$ 4,299,624SALMON
SYRINGA GENERAL HOSPITAL DISTRICT$ 3,917,989GRANGEVILLE
TETON VALLEY HEALTHCARE$ 3,825,879RIGGS
TREASURE VALLEY HOSPITAL$ 1,336,878BOISE
VALOR HEALTH (WALTER KNOX MEM HOSP)$ 4,139,915EMMETT
VETERAN’S AFFAIRS MED CTR$ 3,273,957BOISE
VIBRA HOSPITAL OF BOISE $ 424,227BOISE
WEISER VALLEY HOSPITAL$ 3,920,989WEISER
GRAND TOTAL$ 464,222,737

Note: Could not locate any data on: Eastern Idaho Reg’l Med Ctr., Nell J Redfield Mem Hosp., Bingham Mem Hosp., Idaho State Hosp.-North or South, West Valley Med Ctr. (from IMA’s list of hospitals)

4 replies on “Is Money more important than Medicine?”

After a series of health freedom meetings in Kootenai county health professionals and others banded together to open Heart of Hope Health in Hayden. In less than six months enough people have joined to make it self supporting. Another clinic is slated to open soon in Sandpoint. 45 prime acres have been donated for a full clinic/hospital in the futur.
We believe we have a Christ centered clinic that can be replicated. Go to the Heart of Hope Health website for more info.

Fantastic. Good luck. We need at least 4 similar clinics in Treasure Valley.
We used to have The St. John Free Clinic, and Pocatello had a free clinic—all manned by doctors, nurses, and pharmacist volunteers. They were absorbed by other non-profits over the years. In Boise less than half the number of patients is being served by those who bought the “free clinics”. Stay independent for the sack of your patients

Idaho’s current Hospital System, Central District Health and Insurance Companies must evolve or be shut down immediately. They must begin to provide WellCare not Marxist Care.
The quickest way to provide The People with WellCare is to eliminate any and all non-profit status, combined with direct payment from patient to provider.
With their current Gestapo tactics, many, many absolutely refuse to use their services at all.

Any non-profit organization that pays its CEO $18million/2yrs needs to review its mission statement. The transfer payments documented above are fungible. This information tells us where the money went, not how it was spent. That is why we need audits of these institutions who receive over $100million/yr. of transfer payments as a condition for future transfer payments. Hopefully, new leadership in our legislature will make this a priority!?

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