Conspicuous Consumption & the American Megahospital

At St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, visitors immediately encounter a waterfall, trees, massive rocks, and a pathway for hospital-goers interested in a stroll all located underneath a glass atrium. The massive indoor nature preserve of sorts appears about half the size of a football field. It provides peace and tranquility in a place in need of such comforts.
Once one gets past the beauty and grandeur of it, thoughts run to the expense. Americans spend $3.5 trillion on healthcare annually. The lavish look of so many hospitals reminds that these institutions bankrolled in part by third parties — taxdollars and insurance companies — do not cut corners. The sheer majesty of so many big-city hospitals — and even, as this one shows, medium-sized city hospitals — acts as metaphor for the entire healthcare system. We waste a lot of money.
IU Health in Indianapolis boasts a monorail-like People Mover that shuttles

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