NPR : News

Filed Under:

Growth Of Children's Hospitals Raises Adult-Size Questions

Many children's hospitals started out humbly, like Children's Hospital Boston, which began with 20 beds in a row house shortly after the Civil War.

Today, Boston Children's and many other leading independent children's hospitals are health care juggernauts with extensive facilities, lots of assets and millionaire CEOs, Kaiser Health News reports in a series of articles.

The hospitals are nonprofits, but you wouldn't know that looking at the bottom lines of many of them. They're pouring billions of dollars into new buildings, adding beds and equipment and staff at the same time Washington, the states and employers grapple with budget-busting increases in health care spending.

Hospitals strongly defend the need for new and bigger facilities, and often claim they're good for the economy because of all the jobs created. But nothing is free in health care: tax exemptions accorded nonprofits help to fund the construction, and all the costs of care ultimately are borne by taxpayers, employers and workers.

The average American doesn't focus on the question of cost, says Martin Gaynor, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University and an expert on hospital spending. "They look at children's hospitals and think, 'my goodness, we're helping poor kids," he says. "But who do you think is paying for all this?"

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Once Outlaws, Young Lords Find A Museum Home For Radical Roots

Inspired by the Black Panthers, the Young Lords were formed in New York City by a group of Puerto Rican youth in 1969. Their history is now on display in a new exhibition.
NPR

Europe's Taste For Caviar Is Putting Pressure On A Great Lakes Fish

Scientists say lake herring, a key fish in Lake Superior's food web, is suffering because of mild winters and Europe's appetite for roe. Some say the species may be at risk of "collapse."
WAMU 88.5

A Congressional Attempt To Speed The Development Of Lifesaving Treatments

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act in a rare bi-partisan effort. The bill is meant to speed the development of lifesaving treatments, but critics warn it may also allow ineffective or even harmful drugs onto the market.

NPR

Google Brings Internet Service To Sri Lanka Through, Balloons?

Google has successfully launched its "Project Loon" in Sri Lanka. The goal of the program is to use a series of high-altitude balloons to bring 3G service to underserved areas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.