This proves $600 toilet seats are a bargain

Wright Patterson Air Force Base is now the largest single site employer in the entire state of Ohio.

In a battle for bragging rights, the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association is now trying to say they have a greater economic impact than the base:

The Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association in a new report says its member hospitals had a greater economic impact on the region in 2008 than that of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The hospital association put the sector’s overall local economic impact — the amount of dollars flowing through the community annually due to hospitals — at $6.77 billion, compared to $4.44 billion at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

via Area hospitals have greater impact than Air Force base, group says.

While jokes about the $600 toilet seat and the $2000 hammer in military procurement is great fodder for the waste busters in Congress (who all are now millionaires)- the reality of the hospitals charging over $1400 for 3 stitches seems to get overlooked.

Considering the hospitals depended on the Cadillac health plans from GM, NCR, Iams etc- to keep them afloat, this isn’t exactly a business model that can be sustained. Just jacking prices up will eventually put your services out of reach for the people remaining in Dayton- trying to make a living.

Today’s Dayton Grassroots Daily Show video has Greg going off on wild tangents with an extra helping of hyperbole. Watch at your own risk.

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15 Responses

  1. Bill Daniels (pizzabill) February 23, 2010 / 9:12 pm
    Hospitals don’t need to depend on the “Cadillac health plans from GM, NCR, IAMS…”, not as long as they have Ohio Worker’s Compensation.  “$1400 for 3 stitches”  is small potatoes, especially when you could probably negotiate that down to a reasonable amount.  How about $4300+ for a strained muscle for a worker’s comp claim.  Or $600 for a paper cut? (Two real claims and costs, people.) That’s the real gravy train, since there’s no one to try to negotiate down these ridiculous fees.  Hospitals and medical provider’s first question is:  “Did your injury happen at work?”  And the second question is a thinly veiled threat: “Are you sure it wasn’t, because you could be committing a crime if you say it wasn’t and it was?”
    To top it off, if an employer pays its legally mandatory premium to Worker’s Comp (a rate that Worker’s Comp gets to set), and even if the company has $0 in claims, Ohio law says Worker’s Comp can come back up to two years later and force the employer to pay more for prior years.  And not just a little more, Worker’s Comp can charge whatever they want.   How’s that for the rule-of-law.
    And what do you think will happen to Worker’s Comp programs if our country adopts a “universal health care program”?  Other taxpayer funded health insurance programs like Worker’s Comp should, by all rights, become an unnecessary and redundant program and should end.  We taxpayers would no longer need to pay for other health insurance programs if everyone gets covered.  But do you think this would happen?  My bet is that taxpayers will still have the bite on them for all the old programs, as well as a big new one.
    A frustrated fellow small business owner said recently that he’s tired of trying to run a productive business that pays into a governmental system that takes so much and then wastes so much, and that he’s ready to look for a government job and suck on society’s tit for a change until it’s time to retire.  And then continue sucking.
    I hate that way of thinking, but the sad thing is… it’s starting to sound rational.
    P.S.  I prefer to read and don’t watch your videos, so I’m commenting on the text which got me going on this tangent.
  2. David Esrati February 24, 2010 / 1:38 pm

    @Bill- something for everyone- video and text.

    Not many people have heard the case that Workers Comp would change with universal health care- however, we’re still not talking about universal health care- we’re talking insurance reform, which will still mean businesses will be paying into this insane system.

    If you want to get me started, lets talk about ODJFS unemployment rates- I fired one person in 17 years – for cause, and didn’t contest his filing (which was my stupidity). My rates went up to 10% and put my ability to hire competitively into a tailspin. In the meantime- I had to watch him at work at the box shop next to my bank for 6 months- working, while collecting unemployment. I didn’t know about the rate hike until a full year later.

  3. Jim Crotty February 24, 2010 / 2:11 pm
    Ok, now you’ve got me started with the mention of Ohio Worker’s Compensation. I know David, you probably saw this one coming from me, and so here it is –
    Bill makes an excellent point about Worker’s Comp being a gravy train for hospitals. But guess who enjoys an even bigger helping off of that gravy train ? Here’s hint: many of them eventually set-up shop in elected office.
    Trial lawyers.
    They LOVE Ohio Worker’s Compensation.
    So definitely NO, even with a possible system of government controlled, universal health insurance will Worker’s Compensation go by the wayside.
  4. David Lauri February 24, 2010 / 5:02 pm
    In the meantime- I had to watch him at work at the box shop next to my bank for 6 months- working, while collecting unemployment.
    I didn’t know this was legal.  Is it a variant of the “Retire from RTA and then get re-hired at RTA” scheme? Or was he being paid under the table at the box shop?
  5. David Esrati February 24, 2010 / 5:10 pm

    @david l – yep- paid under the table.

  6. Jeff of Louisville February 24, 2010 / 7:06 pm
    The GOP/libertarian soreheads are out in force yet again at Esrati.  This time bitching about health care reform.  Or workmans comp. Or something.  Yawn.

    Lets talk about the actual news here, the signfigance of the health sector in the local economy, and we are talking not just hospitals.   I think the Medical/Social Services sector became the largest employer in the region back around 2006 or 2007.   This is just employment, not overall economic impact.  Which is no-doubt, quite impressive, and not just hospitals.

    Heres’ a look at employment trends in the Medical sector:

    http://daytonology.blogspot.com/2008/08/first-look-at-health-care-employment-in.html

    And for the fast growing ambulatory care sector:

    http://daytonology.blogspot.com/2008/08/increase-in-ambulatory-care-employment.html

    …and how Medical is the fastest growing employment sector in the local economy (as of 2008)

    http://daytonology.blogspot.com/2008/07/updating-dayton-employment-picture.html

    Enjoy!

  7. Bubba Jones February 25, 2010 / 8:07 am
    David E – This is the second time you’ve mentioned that firing one person in 17 years caused your SUTA tax rate to jump to 10%.  Something isn’t quite right with your account of things.   When I let a couple of people go, (well, fired one, laid off another – both at very different times) my rate never jumped more than 2 percentage points.  Of course, my rate was only about 1.3% at the time so a jump to around 3% was a doubling of the rate.  The “punitive rate” used to be 8% maximum.  I don’t know if that’s been raised or not.
     
    What was your rate before you fired this guy?  Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that it was 5%.  Then it was raised to 10%?  And that put your “ability to hire competitively into a tailspin”????  David, SUTA is only paid on the first $9,000 of wages.  Are you saying that raising the tax per employee from $450 per year (based on a 5% rate) to $900 per year is causing you not to be able to hire people?  That’s less than a $10 per week per employee “impact”!!  Or are you just stating things that way for the dramatic impact?  Regardless, I think it’s pretty cool that “Progressive” David E just admitted that higher tax rates impact employment by businesses!!!  Are you sure you’re not just a conservative in progressive clothing? ;)
     
    David, why didn’t you walk into the box shop next door and snap a picture of this guy behind the counter?  You certainly aren’t shy about using your camera as evidenced by the pics of Mike’s and Jane’s houses.  This could have been sent to ODJFS as evidence that the former employee was committing fraud.  Don’t use the excuse that you called them about it.  You’ve been around long enough to know that these State employees are lazy and won’t do a frickin’ thing (ie – investigate allegations of fraud) about anything unless you hand it to them on a silver platter.
     
    Jeff of Louisville – when you’ve actually started a business, hired people, found work to keep them busy and hopefully productive, and worried about how to cover a weekly payroll and all of the other associated costs of having employees, then your opinions will actually matter.
     
  8. David Esrati February 25, 2010 / 8:29 am

    @Bubba the explanation I was given by ODJFS: the rate was around 1.5% previously. However, when he collects all 6 months of unemployment- he exhausted the amount of money I had in the account (which only accumulates for 3 years- and then blown away) I was then in a “deficit” situation- and they said I had to “replenish” the account- plus cover the possibility of my new employees also taking unemployment.

    I had no clue that unemployment was a savings bond for the state- not “insurance”- and that I personally had to fund it all. I fired him just before Xmas- my rate had been set for the following year- it raised again in November- I had no idea I had any responsibility to enforce the rules- or keep track of if he was still accepting unemployment. No one was telling me that he was still collecting.

    He had been with me for 4.5 years. We were a 2 person shop. As he left- we were up to 5 people- 3 hired in the last 6 months. Maybe that explains it.

    I didn’t let ODJFS know about any problem until November- when it was too late to prove anything. He was also freelancing- besides working at the box shop- so he was ahead- since he was reporting no income other than unemployment.

  9. Bubba Jones February 25, 2010 / 9:20 am
    >>>No one was telling me that he was still collecting.<<<
     
    I’m calling BS on that one, David.  Every time that ODJFS sends a check to the former employee, YOU (the employer) get a little notice from them showing how much the check was for and how much is left in your “account.”
     
    Having more people in your shop should have been in your favor.  You were paying more in total into your account with having a higher total payroll amount.  One thing that could be impacting your rate is the that overall system is essentially broke right now with the high unemployment rates that we’re seeing right now.  You’re basically subsidizing other employers at this time.  But, hey – that’s OK with you, right?  I will stand by my contention that your claim that your rates rose solely because you fired this guy without contesting his claim is false.
     
    Here’s one travesty of the ODJFS system though – you and I are screwed by this system.  We have no control over the rates set by the State and it’s mandated that we pay into their system.  I wonder how rates would be affected if the State allowed private companies to provide unemployment insurance in a competitive market?  The other pisser of this system is that you and I have no safety net under it.  We are the ones taking the chances with our capital by creating jobs.  But, if for whatever reason we cannot maintain jobs for our employees and ultimately ourselves, WE (the employer that’s paid into this system for years) cannot collect from a system that we’ve paid into.
     
    I can’t wait for Universal Health Care!! David – have you bothered to read any of the Senate bill that was ultimately stalled?  Do you know how many more bullshit, non-healthcare related regulations there are in that bill?  I’ll give you a hint – your paperwork reporting requirements for payments made for services are going to quadruple!!  And, yes, it affects you and not just the “big employers” that hire 50 or more people.  Gotta love hope and change!
     
  10. David Esrati February 25, 2010 / 10:20 am

    @Bubba I didn’t get little notices of each check- and amount left in my account. This was back in 2004.

    And- if you think ODJFS is bad- and could be improved by private firms- that’s what we’ve done with the BWC- and all these idiots “marketing” to us- is costing people more than actually trying to reduce rates.

    The “Health Care Reform” bill in Congress IS total BS. It still has private insurance companies who work on a 25-25% scrape- instead of Medicaid which works on 6% Universal single payer eliminates the health care costs of workers comp- but doesn’t compensate for missed work. There are issues to work out- but, our current crop of congressman will never solve the problem since they depend on lobbyists money.

    Read this NYT editorial by Roger Cohen: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/opinion/23iht-edcohen.html?sudsredirect=true

  11. Bubba Jones February 25, 2010 / 11:08 am
    When I fired a guy back in ’01 and laid off a guy in ’03, I got the little slips.    My buddy who laid a guy off this past Summer is also getting them.
     
    As far as BWC goes – those “marketing firms” are still going through the State system.  It’s not private at all.
     
    What do you mean about  insurance companies working on a “25-25% scrape”?  Are you implying that medical insurance companies are operating on 25% NET margins?
     
  12. Bill Daniels (pizzabill) February 26, 2010 / 5:16 pm
    Jeff of Louisville-  Tell you what… have the government pay me $600 per pizza and I’ll create lots of jobs, too.  Think THINK about how absurd some of these costs are, and how much people have to work to pay taxes that are wasted on ridiculous expenses.  And how some are grossly profititing for disproportionately little value.  Here’s a link that might help you understand what’s going on:  http://deoxy.org/emperors.htm
  13. Jeff of Louisville February 26, 2010 / 6:39 pm
    ^
    The defense sector in Dayton is probably undercounted because it relies a lot on contractor work, which shows up as “private sector” but really is public, government subsidized.  I blogged on this a while back using the Federal Funds Report put together from the census.  Add retirees and its a huge transfer of funds into the area.  Maybe this transfer is setting a floor under the local economy, well, OK, the Greene County economy, since I doubt much of this money finds its way to Dayton city.

    Here in Louisville we are getting both defense & medical.  Fort Knox is just down the road and they are seeing an increase in thousands to the area due to new missions coming in, which will benefit the counties to the south of Louisville but also the city/suburbs, too. Considering the numbers transferring in this is causing a housing boom in the Elizabethtown area.

    The medical sector here is huge, from both hospitals and from insurance and hospital companies.  This has been a big benefit to downtown as the hospitals and med school are all concentrated in the center city and the VA is going to be relocated there.  Not to mention three big insurance and med holding companies are downtown, Humana, Aegeon, and Kindred.

    I think you see this in Dayton,too, but at a lesser scale, with Premier having most of that 4o w 4th skyscraper and now moving into some of the school board buildings on Ludlow.  I guess Caresource would be another example.

  14. Jeff of Louisville February 26, 2010 / 6:53 pm
    The bigger issue for the Dayton area regarding this huge defense presence is that the region has one again duplicated the company town model.  Instead of having an economy dominated by NCR and GM (auto industry) its now one dependant on defense spending, essentially at the mercy of the federal budget.

    That’s the big difference from here in Louisville.  This is a diversified economy compared to the Dayton region, hence perhaps healthier?

    This could change if there is some actual private sector spin-off from all that defense R&D work, spin offs that work in the private sector economy.  So far there was one big win in this and that was Lexis-Nexis.  

    But I think its something to be concerned about, lack of divesification and a major sector reliant on politics for funding, not the market.

  15. jstults February 26, 2010 / 10:14 pm
    Jeff of Louisville:

    …at the mercy of the federal budget…

    Yeah, ask Houston, Huntsville or the Cape how much fun that can be…

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