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January 22nd, 2012
Scenes from the class war
I would have assumed that the rich get certain amenities in hospitals — larger, private rooms, more attentive doctors, etc. But this would never have occurred to me:
The bed linens were by Frette, Italian purveyors of high-thread-count sheets to popes and princes. The bathroom gleamed with polished marble. Huge windows displayed panoramic East River views. And in the hush of her $2,400 suite, a man in a black vest and tie proffered an elaborate menu and told her, “I’ll be your butler.”
The punchline, buried deep in the article, comes after an anecdote about the Saudi King taking up an entire floor at another hospital:
The hospital said in a statement: “NewYork-Presbyterian is dedicated to providing a single standard of high quality care to all of our patients.”
But never mind the absurd disparity between first class hospital accomodations and what the rest of us are likely to experience back in steerage. Here’s the bit that’s likely to go viral in the wingnut zombie-lie media:
But even the rainmakers — doctors who bring in such patients — can sometimes resent the tilt toward luxury.
“The one misgiving is patients with Medicare, which pays physicians almost nothing,” said Dr. Brian Katz, 59, a laparoscopic surgeon in scrubs who took a break in the same library later. “Yet those patients will come up here and pay to enjoy five-star comfort.”
The doctor is complaining that rich patients on Medicare can pay for the accomodations while he himself makes no profit. But watch for that to be distorted by Sean Hannity et al. into a story about welfare patients receiving luxury treatment on your tax dollars.
And speaking of the gilded age, here’s a fascinating little article about our plutocrat overlords, and how they behave when they think no one is watching.