A provocative take on politics and culture from a skeptical, libertarian point of view

Location: Long Island, New York, United States

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Libertarian Says Hands Off Long Beach Hospital! By Richard Cooper

Libertarian Says Hands Off Long Beach Hospital!  By Richard Cooper

Long Beach Hospital has served the Long Island, New York waterfront community since 1922.  It was closed by Hurricane Sandy and remains closed.   Besides the physical challenges of renovation, Long Beach Hospital has a precarious financial situation.  But it also has the heavy hand of state government regulators who want it closed and merged with South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside.   “The feud with state regulators, which apparently has been simmering for some time, was publicly revealed in June, when the hospital's board of directors placed an advertisement in local newspapers declaring that the state Health Department "does not want LBMC to reopen as an acute care hospital."

State health commissioner Nirav Shah responded to the board that “ fiscal problems "have plagued the hospital since long before the storm." LBMC ranks ninth on the state's list of financially distressed hospitals and has had annual losses of more than $2 million since 2008, he said.”

For those unfamiliar with our Long Island geography, be aware that Long Beach rests on a barrier island.  Oceanside is on the mainland connected by a causeway, subject to washout in a hurricane. 

It may very well be true that Long Beach Medical Center is fiscally unsound and could go bankrupt.  But why should it be the decision of Commission Shah and other state bureaucrats?   This seems to me to be part of the fixation of state regulators that there are too many hospital beds.  Who should decide the location and provision of hospitals?  The market of doctors and their patients in my view as a Libertarian.   Who should decide whether the hospital can continue financially?  In my view as a Libertarian, the administrators and trustees who are responsible for the financial health of the hospital as the doctors and nurses are of the medical health of the patients. 

Stop Soviet-style planning in health and hospitals.
Let Long Beach Hospital decide, not Albany bureaucrats.  



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