Friday, May 04, 2007

HCA Buyout Adds Nearly $1.5 Billion in Interest Expenses?

The private equity purchase of the huge for-profit hospital company sickened the firm's latest financial results. In a surprising move, HCA's net income dropped by 50% from last year. What amputated the company's previously healthy bottom line? Why it was the cost of taking on the debt required to go private in the first place!

Interest expense rose from $186 million to $557 million. The $371 million increase represents a 200% rise, courtesy of free market dealings. This is the tonic President Bush has applied to America's health care non-system. Should this refect HCA's new quarterly interest expense, by year end it will be just shy of $1.5 billion.

How long do you think the boys and girls at KKR will be happy with a 50% drop in net income? I feel some major hospital rate hikes coming. My guess is this press release is intended to grease the skids for such a thing.

Who could be happy about this report? It would have to be the debt holders. That wouldn't include KKR, would it? And how many patients won't be treated to pay the bag holders under the President's hands off health care market blanket party?

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