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HMOs blow big bucks

Mar. 14, 2000

While Medicare gets its share of criticism, at least it’s reassuring to know that none of it seems to be hurting a great number of the HMO employees who get their money from the federal program. The KANSAS CITY STAR reports that HMOs across the country are spending roughly $1 billion a year on non-patient expenses, according to an investigation by federal auditors. These expenses include season football tickets, dinners at exclusive restaurants, political lobbying and public relations.

Naturally, this perturbs some people. “HMOs must include only proper charges, and not expect taxpayers to help foot the bill for lavish parties,” says Nancy-Ann DeParle of the Health Care Financing Administration.

But while such spending may be immoral, it is apparently not illegal. “We have followed all the rules,” says Jose Marques, spokesman for a Louisville-based HMO. “We did it by the book.”

Read the KANSAS CITY STAR story here.

JG

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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