October 27, 2012
To the undecided, the uninformed, the skeptics, and those with their heads in the sand, the Obama administration is counting on you not having this information prior to Election Day. America’s hospitals and emergency room doctors are caught in a vise that spells financial collapse unless they play ball with hard-and-fast government mandates. The choice for hospitals is either government control over patient care or potential bankruptcy. For socialized medicine or Obama’s health care to work, the government requires control of your health by nullifying both hospitals and doctors as decision makers.
Over the weekend, FOX News did a brief story on the topic seemingly implying that there should be no real concern. With all due respect, FOX News needed to dig deeper. For those who doubt or question the harshly applied rules of Obamacare’s revised Medicare, let the doctors and patients on the front lines speak for themselves.
A doctor’s warning appeared in The Patriot Post: “Come spend a day with me at any of the four hospitals in two states that I practice at. You will see more government control and threats than you will possibly believe. They set clinical criteria that I do not want applied to any of my family, much less other folks. The government is telling me what I can do and what I must do and then refusing to pay if there is any outcome less than 100% without complication, regardless of the age or condition of the patient.” (Emphasis added)
FourWinds10.net posts, “I am a 67-year-old former Marine and a Vietnam veteran. I was scheduled for a cardio-lite stress test. It is a routine part of my heart maintenance program as ordered by my PCP and with approval from my cardiologist who is the head of Danbury Cardiology Department.” As the Marine stood before the hospital nurse, she informed him that his appointment was canceled due to denial of services: “So I said, I have Medicare, so what is my backup insurance doing denying anything? Then the bombshell. She said, ‘It was the Medicare Board that denied the procedure.’” Afamily member writes: I have an aunt in Florida that told me two weeks ago that she CANNOT receive a new knee replacement because she is no longer covered due to HER AGE!
The law, to fine hospitals for inadequate care that may contribute to re-admittance, primarily came into effect in 2010 under the guise of improving patient care. Without question, hospitals, doctors and caregivers must be held accountable for quality care. Medical malfeasance and error must result in payment for damages done to any patient. It was not, however, until Obama’s plan to strip Medicare of $716 billion to pay for Obamacare did the law’s inherent hardships on patients and doctors surface.
By gouging Medicare of billions of dollars to financially prop up Obamacare, Obama deceptively makes Obamacare appear less costly. There is the crux of the problem. In order to recoup those losses, Medicare now must ramp up fines on hospitals to recover long-term losses. The ratcheting down on hospitals with fines connected to a patient’s re-admittance to the hospital that occurs within a 30-day timeframe has begun. As a result, doctors are forced into untenable and litigious situations when it comes to readmitting patients. Doctors describe the cost-cutting provision under Obamacare’s revamping of Medicare as “life-threatening.”
CNNMoney.com writer Parija Kavilanz reported: “A medium-sized general hospital could lose upward of $1 million a year from these penalties at a time when all providers are struggling to keep up with escalating health care costs. He further noted, “Medicare will stop paying hospitals for preventable readmissions tied to health conditions such as heart failure or pneumonia. (Emphasis added.) In 2014, HHS will expand that policy to cover four additional health conditions.” Stroke treatment and joint replacements are reportedly being added to the list. Bottom line, if there are complications within 30-days after being treated at a hospital for heart attacks, pneumonia, joint replacements or a stroke, re-admittance to the hospital may be denied.
As an illustration, let’s say our guy, Chad, has an accident or illness. He enters the hospital. Historically, Medicare demands that the hospital keep himfor as short a time as possible to cut costs to the government. So, to comply, he is released accordingly. Two weeks later, Chad gets an infection or ruptures his sutures. Is that Chad’s fault or is it the hospital’s fault? Either way, Chad’s in trouble. He goes to the emergency room. Chad’s medical charts reveal that Chad was released two weeks ago from the hospital and now has complications in regard to his initial treatment. Chad learns if a hospital readmits too many Medicare patients within 30 days because of a recurring medical issue, that the hospital will be fined. But, Chad wants in; someone else will have to be turned away in the numbers game set-up under the law. The doctor is forced to decide who gets in based on a financial decision versus a purely medical one.
HealthLeaders Media’s Cheryl Clark wrote that Dr. Richard Wolfe of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center asked, “What is the most expensive thing we do? It’s that we admit patients to the hospital. If we can be effective gatekeepers, we can play an absolutely critical role (in reducing costs), but we need to start thinking about how we find other safe places to deliver care.” ER doctors are caught in the middle. In the article,Urgent-Death Panels Here, Doctors Plea for Help, government regulations trapped an emergency room doctor between treating critically ill patients and the hospital’s financial obligations to Medicare to turn them away. The doctor lamented, “As more and more are added to the Obamacare rolls, there will be less and less access. People will get sicker and yes, people will die because of it. I had a sick and sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach today after both of these incidents.”
What Obama also attempts to obfuscate is that Obamacare triggers tax increases while doing nothing to insure Medicare’s solvency. Forbes’ Avik Joy chronicles Freedom on Call’s Chris Jacobs who points out that Nancy Pelosi (CA-D) admitted last year that Democrats “…‘took a half a trillion dollars out of Medicare’ in Obamacare.” Adding, “…You can’t improve Medicare’s solvency by taking money out of the program.” Jacobs forewarns that “80% of middle class workers” will be hit with higher tax rates that are buried in the Obamacare law. Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney vows to reinstate to Medicare the currently estimated $716 billion that Obama misappropriated.
Obama’s engineered pilfering of Medicare funds is deterring doctors in hospitals nationwide from administering much needed care. Obamacare hijacks one-eighth of the U.S. economy, shifting to the Obama administration unprecedented power over the people and the nation. Under Obama, denial of medical care to large segments of our population will not be the exception, but the new normal. Please share this article and the following links with broadcast news outlets such as FOX News, CNN and the mainstream media. Insist they devote more than a short few minutes to a story this critical to the health care of all Americans and their families.