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Horowitz: Ohio’s University Hospitals system slashes salaries by 20% without enough work for employees

With such a surge of coronavirus patients overrunning hospitals, one thing you’d expect is that every health care worker would be employed and paid in full plus overtime, right? Except hospitals actually aren’t overrun by the virus in states like Ohio. They are overrun by arbitrary and unconstitutional bans on liberally defined “elective” medical procedures, an edict that is bankrupting hospitals across the country.

Yesterday, the University Hospitals system in Ohio announced that approximately 4,100 employees would suffer a 20% schedule and salary cut for 10 weeks due to the loss of revenue. They are also temporarily suspending contributions to 403(b) and 401(k) plans.

“The decision to take these actions followed a detailed assessment of financial models, capital expenditures and other costs,” said the UH press release on Wednesday. “Although UH is making applications for resources available through FEMA and the Cares Act, any recoveries from these programs alone will not nearly make up for financial losses.”

The hospital system claims it is seeing financial losses of $42 million per day and spending $5 million per day on increased costs of supplies.

While the loss of such revenue is astronomical, in addition to focusing on the dollar signs, try picturing the lost health care service behind those numbers. Have any of the lockdown fascists in state and federal governments ever conducted a study to ascertain the loss of life expected from the shutdown of so much vital medical care?

The shutdown of “nonessential” medical service has been so broad that one Cincinnati family whose newborn was in desperate need of surgery for club feet had to appeal to the governor to personally intervene in order to get the surgery scheduled last week.

Congress keeps pumping billions of dollars into the hospitals while governors are needlessly shutting them down. Most of their loss is not from the extra spending on coronavirus but from the banning of most medical procedures.

Also, because of the frantic panic induced by the media, many people with dangerous illnesses are not going to the emergency room. CBS spoke with ER doctors in “at least half a dozen states who said they're taking pay cuts of up to 40%.” Has our political class ever pondered how many people will die of heart attacks due to failure to seek treatment, thanks to the gratuitously overbearing level of fear they are inducing into society? How many more will die because they are indefinitely forced to push off colonoscopies, mammograms, and other preventive checks for high-risk patients?

Then there are cancer patients, 51% of whom reported in a recent survey that their care has been impacted. Of those who’ve experienced an effect, nearly 1 in 4 report a delay in care or treatment. According to the American Cancer Society, among those who were affected, “the most common delays were for in-person provider appointments (50%); delayed access to imaging services to determine if a patient’s cancer had grown or returned (20%); access to supportive services, including physical therapy or mental health care (20%); and access to surgical procedures (8%).”

The other point we see from the affected hospital workers is that the weekly unemployment claims fail to capture the full magnitude of the losses to average Americans. While many have lost jobs, a great many more, like these hospital workers, have had their salaries reduced. According to a new Pew survey, 43% of all U.S. adults have either been laid off, had their salaries cut, or live in a household where one member has suffered such a fate. Given that nearly every public-sector job has been preserved and they account for 14.5% of the workforce, the number of unemployed and underemployed is likely upwards of 50% among private-sector workers.

What the disaster of the hospital shutdown demonstrates is that our approach to coronavirus is lacking any sense of balance. Our political class has made the country so scared of the virus that we are committing national suicide, causing more harm than the virus will ever cause.

One last thing…
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