Scott’s Advisors: Study Whether To Do Away With Public Hospital Districts


 Is it time for the North and South Broward Hospital District to fold up shop?

 Governor-Elect Rick Scott is no fan of public hospitals, having spent his working life building private health companies.  As I wrote here in September, I thought the backroom deal cooked up to take the North Broward District private was an attempt to get a jump on Scott.

Now, according to the Miami Herald, Scott’s advisors are questioning whether public hospitals which can fall back on property taxes should be competing with private hospitals. 

The advisors group was chaired by Alan Levine, who once ran the North District and who I thought had some visionary ideas.

Levine knows Broward County.

The tax-supported South District has been particularly egregious in thumbing its nose at the free market, having wiped out or bought up all the private hospitals in South Broward.

It is better run than the North District, which has been rocked by repeated scandals and a revolving door in the executive suite.  So the North District still has lots of competitors.

Nothing will be done before there is a study to see whether it makes fiscal sense to change the system of public health care, especially in light of the looming Obamacare.

Bottom line:  We don’t need government running the hospitals.   Most likely private industry can do it cheaper and better.  

Palm Beach gives tax money to private hospitals to treat the poor.

Wanna bet that county is the template for what Scott would like to see across the state?

You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.  It looks very much like the wind is about to blow the South and North District’s down.

11 Responses to “Scott’s Advisors: Study Whether To Do Away With Public Hospital Districts”

  1. Floridan says:

    “Bottom line: We don’t need government running the hospitals. Most likely private industry can do it cheaper and better.”

    Most likely? Based on what?

    I’ve been a patient at both private and public hospital sin Broward over the past years — I see no evidence that private hospitals can do it better or cheaper (ask health care professional or paramedics which hospitals they would want to be transported to in an emergency).

    With all the problems in the administration of public hospitals, at the very least they keep the private ones honest (or as honest as Scott they think they need to be).

  2. Git R Done says:

    This sounds like a good thing, hopefully it will explain some of the mis-dealings that have been going on for years.
    Just hope the study can lead to a what has been going on and show others that it’s not worth having it.

  3. Senator John Blutarsky says:

    Government should not be in the business of business. Governments should only provide goods and services that the private sector can not or will not provide. In the case of hospitals, there is an existing industry that can and will thrive without government competition. Safeguards and payment reimbursements for indigent care can easily be instituted and resolved.

  4. Pineystride says:

    When profit is the sole motive in providing a service, the bottom line is that profit will always be given priority over the patient. Public hospitals have a place in Florida and eliminating them is a unwise choice.

  5. ExCompassionate Conservative says:

    I look at this this way. If we have a system of coverage of Americans which covers people, then those people can get care wihtout taxpayers paying the bill for uninsured. I pay over 400 dollars on my tax bill for the N Broward district and have no trouble getting rid of the district and the overhead of overpiad administrators and kick back deals. On th eopther hand, do not think that priovate hospitals are run any better. My family was almost gouuged by a A Rick Scott created chain which tried ot double the bill n an ER visit.

    I work in heatlh care and do not want anything ot do with screwing the hard working employees, Massive exec costs are a different story. IF we do not have the uninsured covered as we have had for decades, then we need a public district.

    I say that as the health reforms kick in and more people are covered, then we begin to phase out public districts and let everyone compete for the heatlh care dollar instead of the legal price gougung we have now.

    Give me my 400 dollars each year to pay for my family health care and I will be happy if those who are uninsured become insured and have to take care of their health instead of just showing up at the ER.

  6. S only says:

    Everyone in America should have affordable access to healthcare. Private looks at the bottom line- profit. Public just goes on and on without a care in the world because the taxpayer keeps paying. The wheels of progress turn ever so slowly. This country really needs to get its act together,especially in healthcare.
    If you have ever been sick, you know what I’m talking about.

  7. Buddy says:


    At the very least, the public should question why it is necessary to have a North and a South Hospital District?

    Originally the South District was formed by mostly Hollywood residents and physicians, who were not permitted to practice in the Fort Lauderdale-based North District. South Broward residents may have even had a problem being treated by the North Districts, but this was way before my time in the late 1940 and early 1950s.

    Some believe the Hollywood residents and professionals were kept out of the North District because some were Jewish. Who knows, but it was possible since the Fort Lauderdale power structure was notoriously anti-Semitic back then.

    Whatever the reason 60 years ago, it makes no sense now to have two highly paid administrative structures.

    Does it?

  8. watcher says:

    first..let’s not forget sovereign immunity goes away with privatization…without immunity we get tests and more tests, malpractice insuranse and second guessing…next issue is letting people die…right now insurance companies are the death panels as in “we wont cover that experimental treatment so you die”…Arizona is setting up “we wont approve transplant death panels”, but the flack is causing their pols to back off…until we get serious about end of life issues the best we can hope for is bad news……

  9. Inez says:

    Maintaining 2-separate public health system is duplication of resources and a waste of public tax-payers’ funds.

    It props up a system of over-compensated executives in corner offices, out-of-touch with reality, in glass towers making decisions and locked-in a perpetual game of one-up-man-ship against each other.

    They have been granted an unfair advantage to compete against private hospitals while providing same services for the same high prices or medicare dollars. Unfair competition.

    Although they are required to act as a safety net, do not show up without a valid insurance card, otherwise you may wake-up dumped on Jackson’s doorstep.

  10. Politico says:

    I have had numerous encounters with the Memorial Healthcare System dealing with life-threatening illnesses with family members.

    I can’t say one negative thing about 20 years of personal experiences with the Memorial Hospitals.

    I have a family member getting ready for cancer treatment over the holidays. It took less than an hour for the primary physician’s office to schedule interventional radiology treatment on Wednesday of this week. Dropped off the cat scans and lab reports yesterday and met a most professional healthcare worker to set up procedures for Monday.

    All this in the middle of the holidays.

    My tax money is with Memorial and the South Broward Hospital District.

  11. ontheequator says:

    Buddy … you’re right on all counts … the North District was a hotbed of basically no-show jobs for some of the Klan, sponsored by one of their long-time board members.