Even with the Bribes Chinese Health Care is Better since Privatization

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 12th, 2014

Week in Review

China has recently privatized their health care system.  Sort of.  They have private health care providers and a state health insurance that helps pay for it with a small patient ‘co-pay’.  Quality of care did increase.  But health care providers don’t get paid a lot in China.  And turn to other means of compensation that is not without its problems (see ‘Guardian angels’ to protect Chinese doctors from patients by Malcolm Moore posted 4/9/2014 on The Telegraph).

Hospitals in Beijing will recruit 1,500 “guardian angels” to protect their doctors from violent attacks by patients.

In recent years, angry patients have killed a number of Chinese doctors, often citing frustration at how they have been handled by the healthcare system…

Doctors and nurses in hospitals are violently attacked every two weeks on average, the state media said, by patients angry at long waiting times, high medical bills and haughty or uncaring doctors…

The government has promised to root out corruption in the healthcare system, and the Health Ministry said in February it would target patients who bribe doctors for better treatment.

Yes, bribes.  Or hongbao, as it’s called in China.  If you want some decent care in a Chinese hospital you have to slide an envelope with money in it to your health care provider.  Otherwise you’ll only get what the state health insurance will buy you.  Long waiting times, high medical bills (for what the state insurance doesn’t cover—a high deductible, if you will) and haughty or uncaring doctors.  Which tells you how bad the health care system must have been before they privatized it.  For it’s a lot better now than it used to be.

So China made their health care better by privatizing it (although it is still so bad that angry patients who paid good bribes for their loved one’s care are assaulting their doctors and nurses every two weeks on average).  While the United States is going the other way.  Towards more state control.  Pity the Obama administration can’t be more like China when it comes to health care.  And try to improve the quality of health care instead of making it worse.  Which they will likely do as their cost saving measure is simply to pay health care providers less.  Which will likely discourage doctors from entering the system.  Or remaining in the system.  Leading to longer waiting times.  And, perhaps, bribes.  At least from those who want good care for their loved ones.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Canadian Hospitals suffer from Overcrowding in British Columbia

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

The left likes to say we’re idiots here in the United States.  Because every other advanced economy has national health care.  Of course, every other advanced economy doesn’t have the best health care system in the world.  No.  That honor goes to the United States.  And perhaps NOT having national health care is the reason why we have the best health care system in the world.  For those national health care systems have their problems.  Even the system north of the border the American left yearns to have.  The Canadian single-payer system (see New B.C. seniors advocate to focus on needs of growing elderly population by ROB SHAW posted 3/19/2014 on The Vancouver Sun).

Isobel Mackenzie, a longtime Victoria seniors care administrator, was named Wednesday as the province’s first seniors advocate, more than 16 months after the office was first announced…

There are more than 700,000 seniors in B.C. and that’s expected to double to 1.4 million over the next 20 years…

Mackenzie said she’s not sure if her office will get involved in how hospital overcrowding is affecting seniors care, and sidestepped a reporter’s question at her press conference Wednesday about the case of an elderly man who had spent eight hours waiting in a hospital emergency room…

“Obviously, health care is a priority and home care – giving support to people so they can stay at their home and healthy,” she said.

Logan said the government tried an “experiment” of providing funding to United Way but they’ve been “overloaded with requests.”

All of the advanced economies share something in common.  They all have an aging population.  Thanks to birth control and abortion people in the advanced economies stopped having babies after the Sixties like they used to have.  Which is why the seniors are now the largest growing sector of the population.  We have fewer people entering the workforce to pay the taxes that support a greater number of people leaving the workforce.  And thanks to modern medicine, these people are living long into retirement.  Which is why Canadian hospitals in British Columbia are overcrowded.  Which lead to longer wait times and the rationing of care.  Things common with national health care.  And these things are only going to get worse as their aging populations age further.

This is the future of Obamacare.  For the Affordable Care Act is already proving unaffordable to those who have to pay.  And people are losing the health insurance and the doctors they liked and wanted to keep.  A lot of doctors are opting out of Obamacare.  Leaving fewer in the system to treat a larger number of patients.  Which will, of course, lead to longer wait times and the rationing of care.  Just like in Canada.  And in every other advanced economy with a national health care system.  Which is why the United States is the only advanced economy without a national health care system.  Because Americans don’t want longer wait times and the rationing of care.  And they don’t want the Affordable Care Act.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obamacare: Obama lied and People will Die

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 14th, 2013

Week in Review

There are about 414 million people in the United States.  And Obamacare is supposed to insure them all.  But that’s not all.  The Affordable Care Act was going to make health insurance less costly while covering more people.  As well as providing more extensive coverage.  Obamacare promised more for less.  And if you liked your health insurance, your doctor and your medication you could keep them.  It just sounded too good to be true.  And, as it turned out, it was too good to be true (see Does the pre-existing condition program foretell broader problems for Obamacare? by PHILIP KLEIN posted 12/13/2013 on the Washington Examiner).

The program, known as the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, or PCIP, was a temporary measure within Obamacare meant to be a bridge to provide coverage to those with pre-existing conditions between the law’s 2010 passage and Jan. 1, 2014, when all plans will be required to offer coverage to those with pre-existing conditions…

What’s interesting about PCIP is that it ended up attracting much fewer Americans than expected while also costing more than expected. The reason was that those who did enroll ended up being those with extremely high medical costs — even by the standards of a program for those with pre-existing conditions.

By March 2013, HHS suspended enrollment in the program because it couldn’t afford to cover any new applicants.

As the New York Times reported in May, “The administration had predicted that up to 400,000 people would enroll in the program, created by the 2010 health care law. In fact, about 135,000 have enrolled, but the cost of their claims has far exceeded White House estimates, exhausting most of the $5 billion provided by Congress.”

The same story explained that HHS announced it “was cutting payments to doctors and hospitals after finding that cost overruns are threatening to use up the money available…”

But given the dismal enrollment numbers to date, it’s worth asking whether the exchanges could end up encountering similar problems to PCIP — only on a much bigger scale.

The plan that had only targeted 400,000 enrollees only got 135,000.  About two-thirds short of their target.  Why?  Insurance that covers preexisting conditions is very expensive.  Because it will pay a lot of claims.  The money people pay in as premiums pays those claims.  But the cost to cover these people is so great it took another $5 billion of taxpayer money.  And even then the program ran out of money with only 135,000 signing up for this insurance.  Showing the futility of buying insurance for a group with preexisting conditions.

Insurance by definition protects the financial assets of a policy holder from a possible loss.  This is the key that makes insurance actually insurance.  Not everyone that pays a premium for this protection will suffer a loss.  So there is a surplus of premiums to pay for the few that do.  The PCIP sells policies to a group of people who will all suffer a loss.  So people aren’t paying a premium to protect themselves from a possible loss.  They’re paying a premium to pay for a known loss.  And everyone in the pool will be paying and submitting claims.  So that the cost of insurance eventually equals the cost of health care per policy holder.  Which makes the insurance redundant.  And unnecessary.  While only serving to increase actual costs by introducing a third party into the process.

This is why the PCIP needed the $5 billion in taxpayer subsidies.  For without it people would not save any money by buying this insurance.  As many haven’t.  Even with the subsidies.  The taxpayers paid about $37,000 per person in addition to the cost of the premium pool.  Based on the number of months since the Affordable Care Act became law that’s about $842 per person per month in subsidies.  Based on the horror stories of what the young and healthy have to pay for their Obamacare health insurance the premiums for the PCIP are probably greater than the subsidies.  And it’s still not enough to cover their costs.  Which is why they’re cutting people off and cutting payments to doctors and hospitals.

Which will happen for the rest of us.  Once the enrollment numbers fall far short of their projections.  As they are.  And claims exceed premiums.  As they will.  Leaving them little choice but to cut costs.  Raise premiums.  Charge more for prescriptions.  Increase wait times.  And ration health care.  Not what President Obama promised.  Then again, he lied.  PolitiFact called it the Lie of the Year.  And because of the president’s lie people will have poorer quality health care.  Who may succumb to their health problems as they wait those longer wait times.  And can no longer afford the prescriptions that kept them healthy.  All because President Obama lied.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Medicaid, Medicare and Frivolous Lawsuits make the Best Health Care System in the World more Expensive

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 23rd, 2013

Week in Review

The American left loves Canada.  In particular their single-payer health care system.  This is what they wanted in the US.  Not Obamacare.  But they settled for Obamacare.  Until they get what Canada has one day.  Because it’s better.  At least, according to a chart.  That shows how wonderful Canadian health care is and how horrible American health care is (see The U.S. Health Care System Is Terrible, In 1 Enraging Chart by Mark Gongloff posted 11/22/2013 on the Huffington Post).

Yes, among this group of big countries, the U.S. spends far and away more on health care than any other. And yet it has among the lowest life expectancies of any developed country. People live longer in pretty much every country in Europe, including Greece, where the economy has been wracked by austerity for years…

Why is our system so terrible? Largely because it is built for profit. Unlike many other countries, the government has no role in either providing care or setting prices, and so prices skyrocket. It’s also too complex, which is one reason the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature reform law, has gotten off to such a bad start.

The health care law is supposed to help with the cost problem somewhat. But it is built on the existing privatized system, which means it will probably not make a significant difference. A public option, also known as a “single payer” plan, would help. But that still seems like a pipe dream — although maybe Obamacare’s clumsy rollout will bring it closer to reality.

First of all it should be noted that Canada has one of the finest private health care networks in the world.  Outside of their single-payer system.  Which is something they share with all nations that have some form of national health care.  A private health care network for those who want and can pay for it.  And why is Canada’s private health care network the best in the world?  Perhaps you can guess why when you hear the name of it.  The Untied States health care system.  Just south of the border.

That’s right, for those with the means don’t wait in line for less than the best of health care.  They spend their own money to go to the front of the line to get the best health care available.  In the United States.  Often administered by Canadians.  Because the US pays the best doctors and nurses more than they can get in Canada.  So Canadian doctors and nurses, too, travel south across the border.

The US is one of the only countries where their poor suffer from obesity.  Because of generous food assistance programs.  Also, because we are a for-profit nation our food industry has figured out to give us more food for less.  Our beverage sizes have gotten so big giving us so much value for the money that Mayor Bloomberg tried to limit the size of beverages in New York.  And all American restaurants give us free refills.  Because they can.  While some European countries will charge extra for a package of ketchup.  All of this more food for less has led to our obesity problem.  Giving Americans heart disease and diabetes.  Shortening life expectancies.

US doctors are dropping out of Medicaid.  And Medicare.  More so now that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is rolling out.  Why?  Because the government pays for these nonprofit programs.  And they are constantly trying to reduce their reimbursements.  Because the aging population is straining the Medicaid and Medicare programs.  And the government has addressed this problem by ‘discounting’ Medicaid and Medicare billings.  For years doctors and hospitals have tried to recover these shortfalls by charging more.  Especially insurance companies.  Greatly increasing the cost of health care and health insurance.  But the discounting grew so great that many health care providers just dropped these programs.  Because they couldn’t pay their people, their lab costs, their overhead, etc.  Especially since Obamacare has taken money from Medicare.  And ‘forced’ states to expand their Medicaid rolls.  But these discounted reimbursements aren’t the only thing raising health care costs.

While most of Europe has loser-pay laws to curtail frivolous lawsuits the United States doesn’t.  Because of the trial lawyers.  Who get quite wealthy suing doctors, hospitals and pharmaceuticals.  Exploding the cost of malpractice and liability insurance.  Which increase the cost of doctors, hospitals and pharmaceuticals.  Forcing them to raise their prices to recover these costs.  Making American health care more costly.

These are the reasons why the US spends more per capita on health care than all other nations.  Because they have the best health care system in the world.  And the best costs more.  While the government forcing health care providers to work below costs (Medicare and Medicaid) and the cost of frivolous lawsuits raise these costs even more.

The American health-care system is not terrible.  Single-payer systems are.  Because they all have a private health care network.  Which they wouldn’t have if single-payer systems were the best systems.  Just ask the Canadians who use their private network.  The US health care system.  Who will probably be the second greatest losers under the Affordable Care Act.  After the Americans.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The NHS is Rationing Health Care to give Everyone the Same Quality of Health Care

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 18th, 2013

Week in Review

We have Obamacare because there was a crisis in American health care.  Or so said the proponents of national health care.  Not everyone had equal access to the same high-quality care some people had.  The opponents of Obamacare said a quasi-national health care system wouldn’t change that.  All it would do is stretch limited resources over more people.  Ultimately reducing the quality of care for everyone.  Like in the NHS.  Where they are closing emergency departments in south Wales because they don’t have the resources to staff them all at the same level (see Wales NHS: Abandon south Wales A&E shake-up, say Conservatives posted 5/14/2013 on BBC News Wales).

The NHS is due to announce a cut in number of specialist A&E departments in south Wales from seven to four or five.

Officials say the current range of services can no longer be provided safely at all hospitals.

They say the planned changes, due to be unveiled this month, will result in the most seriously ill patients seeing consultants more quickly, although they may have to travel further.

Hospitals across Wales have said they have faced “unprecedented” levels of admissions this spring, with A&E consultants warning their departments are at “meltdown” due to overcrowding and a bed shortage…

Speaking on behalf of the health boards involved in the South Wales Programme, Dr Grant Robinson, medical director of Aneurin Bevan Health Board, said: “We cannot continue to provide all these services in every location across south Wales.

“We need to concentrate these services to ensure all patients receive safe and sustainable care.

The NHS is national health care.  Where they provide free health care to all of their people.  But to do that some people will have to travel farther than others.  Because they just don’t have the resources to have the same specialties at all hospitals.  Not when their aging population is consuming so much of the NHS budget.  Just as an aging population will consume the majority of the Obamacare budget.

National health care works better when you have a population growing younger.  When there are more people entering the workforce than leaving it.  So there are always more people to pay the high costs of retiree benefits.  But thanks to birth control and abortion populations are aging everywhere.  Making the national health care model simply unsustainable.

These nations set up their entitlement states before birth control and abortion shrank future generations.  Not really a problem in a nation with a limited government.  But a big one in a social democracy.  For that falling birthrate not only undermines the sustainability of national health care.  It also undermines state pensions.  And public sector union benefits.  Which include generous health care and pension benefits.  None of this will survive as the consumers of these benefits grow at a greater rate than those paying for these benefits.  Which will lead to higher tax rates on a shrinking workforce.  Or anarchy.  As people take to the streets as the government simply can no longer give them their benefits.

This was really not a good time to nationalize health care.  A blind person could have seen this.  But the proponents of national health care pushed for it anyway.  Even while the NHS is struggling under the weight of an aging population.  Proving that Obamacare is more about power politics than health care.  Or that those who gave it to us are just not that bright.  Whichever it is there is one thing for certain.  We would want neither to be in charge of our health care.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After one NHS Trust kills some 1,200 Patients the British are Rewriting the NHS Constitution

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 6th, 2013

Week in Review

The NHS apparently has not been making patients a priority in their hospitals.  To correct that the British are rewriting the NHS constitution to put patients first.  Which will hopefully prevent the killing of thousands of patients in their hospitals (see Jeremy Hunt orders fresh consultation on rewriting NHS constitution by Peter Dominiczak, and Robert Winnett posted 4/3/2013 on The Telegraph).

Mr Hunt, the Health Secretary, has confirmed that he will begin consultations later this year on changing the constitution following the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS trust, where up to 1,200 patients died needlessly.

Robert Francis, the chairman of the inquiry, said that one of his top priorities was for the NHS constitution to be rewritten, making it explicit that “patients are put first” and “everything done by the NHS should be informed by this ethos”.

The Mid Staffordshire NHS trust manages two hospitals.  One at Stafford.  And one at Cannock.  These two hospitals serve a local population of 276,500 people.  Of which they needlessly killed off some 1,200.

So this is national health care.  This is what the supporters of Obamacare want it to evolve into.  Where the poor quality of health care calls for a rewriting of the health care constitution.  Because only then will they put patients first.

We will be moving away from putting patients first under Obamacare.  As they put more cost-cutting bureaucrats between patients and their health care providers.  Who must answer to the new state bureaucracy when administering health care.  And they will be held accountable for the inefficient use of limited health care resources.  Such as using them on sick people who consume too many of these limited resources.  For there is no other way to cut cuts when the state is paying for health care.  You just have to start saying ‘no’ at some point.  And tell a patient’s family that it is just not cost-efficient to treat your loved one.  Which is putting the state first.  Not the patient.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Britain’s National Health Service works so well they Pass Laws Forbidding the Gagging of Whistleblowers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 16th, 2013

Week in Review

More and more people are finding out what life will be like under Obamacare.  And they’re not liking what they’re finding out.  Especially those pet owners who have just learned their vet bills are going up because the excise taxes on medical devices includes medical devices that can be used on people as well as animals.  Such as syringes.  Which is rather ironic that the most financially responsible health care in the United States will help subsidize the least financially responsible.  For people pay out of pocket at their vet.  Something they haven’t done at their people doctor since, well, forever.  Unless you lived before FDR’s time.  Before health care became a benefit.

While vets keep their bills to where people will pay them to save Fido and Whiskers no such restraint exists with people medicine.  Which probably explains why Fido and Whiskers are getting better health care than some get at people hospitals (see Ban on NHS gagging orders by Press Association posted 3/14/2013 on the guardian).

Gagging clauses that stop departing NHS staff from speaking out about patient safety or care have been banned by the government.

Hundreds of whistleblowers have in the past been silenced by the clauses in their severance packages.

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said the practice would end with immediate effect to help create a culture of “openness and transparency” across the NHS.

Interesting.  Openness and transparency?  Like President Obama promised that his administration would be?  One thing we’ve learned from the president is that he has a problem with being open and transparent.  So you know this culture will carry over into Obamacare.  For they no doubt learned from the British that you have to shut your people up after they leave their jobs.  Or else they will talk about how horrible you’re running things.  Such as the abysmal job the Obama administration did protecting our diplomatic staff in Benghazi.  Despite all of the signs of a resurging al Qaeda.  The place was getting so dangerous that the British pulled their staff out before al Qaeda killed four Americans.  And what did we here from the dead ambassador’s boss when questioned in Congress about altered talking points used on the Sunday morning talk shows?  “What difference does it make?”  So much for all of that promised openness and transparency.

“The era of gagging NHS staff from raising their real worries about patient care must come to an end.”

Almost £15m was spent over three years on compromise agreements with staff leaving the NHS, the Mail said, of which 90% contained clauses to stop whistleblowers from speaking out.

Gary Walker, the former chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, claimed he was sacked after raising concerns about patient safety.

He accepted a gagging clause as part of a settlement package but broke the terms to speak out last month about concerns over care, the Mail said…

The Health Secretary said that a “culture of covering up problems” led to the Mid Staffordshire scandal, and that NHS staff who identify problems should be encouraged to come forward and speak out…

“This can only be part of our response to Mid Staffs. If we have a culture where whistleblowing is necessary then obviously something has gone wrong.”

The National Health Service (NHS) has been doing national health care for a long time.  And, apparently, they still don’t have it right.  For if they did there would be no need for whistleblowers.  So here’s something to look forward to under Obamacare.  Gag orders and a culture of covering up problems.  And it has to happen here.  For the British are good people.  It’s just that national health care doesn’t work.  And we know the British are good people.  For they have been trying to make the unworkable national health care work.  Which must mean they care about their people.  So any failures of the system really can’t be blamed on the people.  It’s national health care that is at fault.  For it just doesn’t work.

So expect a lot of silence as more and more people suffer horrible health care.  And when a whistleblower does step forward and someone from the administration is called to testify before Congress we can already guess their answer to why more people are dying under Obamacare than they were before Obamacare.  “What difference does it make?”  Words you’ll never hear from your veterinarian.  Because there is no need for gag orders at your vet.  Why?  Because it’s cash out of pocket.  And vets have to meet a higher standard than some government policy.  They have to please Fido’s and Whisker’s owner.  The one with the pocket that has the cash that pays bill.  Which is why veterinarians work.  And Obamacare won’t.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Scottish Woman with Swine Flu airlifted to an English Hospital 250 Miles Away

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 24th, 2013

Week in Review

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has been suffering from the costs of an aging population.  People are living longer into retirement thanks to extensive medical care.  While fewer people are entering the workforce to pay the taxes that pay for that extensive medical care.  Resulting in longer wait times.  Shortages of doctors and nurses.  Rationing.  And the closing of hospitals.  Or transferring specialties to centrally located hospitals to achieve some economies of scale (see Scottish flu victim airlifted to Leicester hospital posted 2/24/2013 on BBC News South Scotland).

A Scottish woman is in intensive care at a specialist hospital in Leicester after contracting a suspected form of swine flu.

Jennifer Scott was transferred by helicopter from Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary after she was diagnosed with a serious “flu-type illness”…

A spokeswoman for University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said the patient had been flown to Glenfield as it was one of a limited number of hospitals in the UK that had specialist equipment required for her case.

Note that they transferred this Scottish woman to an English hospital.  Where one of the limited hospitals with specialist equipment was located.  But this wasn’t just a stone’s throw over Hadrian’s Wall.  Dumfries, Scotland, and Leicester, England, are about 250 miles apart.  Boston and New York City are just a little closer to each other.  Can you imagine a patient coming down with swine flu in Boston having to be airlifted to New York City?  To a hospital with the appropriate specialist equipment?  Of course not.  But, then again, you haven’t lived under the fully implemented Obamacare yet.

There’s a reason why they had to airlift this woman some 250 miles.  The cost of national health care just doesn’t permit building hospitals like Glenfield Hospital in all of their cities.  The U.S. has an aging population, too.  And will follow the NHS example to cut costs under Obamacare.  Where there will be an ongoing effort to do more with less.  Which will lead to moving specialties to fewer hospitals.  For what is a few hours of travel compared to the cost savings?

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The UK Economy lingers in Recession thanks to Inflation caused by High Tuition Costs and High Utility Bills

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 23rd, 2012

Week in Review

The Democrats have attacked health insurers with a vengeance for the high prices of health care.  They blame them for these soaring prices.  As well as greedy doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.  The Left is always ready to attack some greedy business for their ‘excessive’ profits driving up their prices.  And all businesses are guilty of being greedy profit whores.  With a couple of exceptions (see No Happy New Year for UK as Gloom Worsens by Holly Ellyatt posted 12/21/2012 on CNBC).

With gloomy economic forecasts, falling consumer confidence and poor retail figures adding to concerns over talk of the U.K. leaving the European Union, 2013 is set to be a tough year for the country, analysts say…

“There’s been a lot of discounting in the high streets because the shops are trying to shift stock and it’s not working,” Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank, told CNBC…

Foley told CNBC that growth had been disappointing mainly due to inflation and low wage growth.

“[Inflation] took money out of our pockets and made our real wages negative. Many economists were anticipating that by now we would have positive wage growth but no, again we have sticky inflation and inflation at high levels because of university fees and utility bills going up.”

Funny how universities and the utilities are never labeled as greedy profit whores.  No, they never get attacked like those in business do.  Instead they attack greedy taxpayers who don’t volunteer to pay more in taxes to help subsidize the high cost of education and utilities.  They’re the greedy profit whores.  Who oppose those in education and the utilities from living a better life than they do.  How selfish.

University professors brainwash their students into being good liberal voters.  The utilities are unionized.  Both do a lot to elect liberals to office.  And keep them in office.  Therefore those who attack health insurers, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies never attack those in education and the utilities.  Even though they are gouging consumers far more than health insurers, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.

For all the talk about leveling the playing field and looking out for the little guy the Left sure likes taking care of their own.  In a country where there is no nobility there is an aristocracy.  Government workers.  And those who help the government gain and maintain power.  These people live the good life.  While the rest are attacked for being greedy.  Pay high tuition costs.  And pay high utility bills.  The aristocracy has to pay these things, too.  But with the generous pay and benefits package they give themselves they can easily afford these things.  Thanks to the power they have to make us pay high tuition costs and high utility bills.  As well as high taxes.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obamacare to Penalize Hospitals for Readmitting Sick People

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 1st, 2012

Week in Review

Now that we passed Obamacare we’re starting to find out what was in that bill.  Which, according to Nancy Pelosi, was the only way for us to find out what was in it.  By voting blindly for it.  Then wait for them to implement it.  They’re doing that now.  And some of the things that we’re learning are in the bill are a little scary (see Hospitals Face Pressure From Medicare to Avert Readmissions (from the New York Times) by JORDAN RAU posted 11/26/2012 on The New York Times).

Medicare last month began levying financial penalties against 2,217 hospitals it says have had too many readmissions. Of those hospitals, 307 will receive the maximum punishment, a 1 percent reduction in Medicare’s regular payments for every patient over the next year, federal records show.

One of those is Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, which will lose $2 million this year. Dr. John Lynch, the chief medical officer, said Barnes-Jewish could absorb that loss this year, but “over time, if the penalties accumulate, it will probably take resources away from other key patient programs.”

The crackdown on readmissions is at the vanguard of the Affordable Care Act’s effort to eliminate unnecessary care and curb Medicare’s growing spending, which reached $556 billion this year. Hospital inpatient costs make up a quarter of that spending and are projected to grow by more than 4 percent annually in coming years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

There are two ways to look at this.  The government’s way.  Keeping those greedy hospitals from readmitting patients just to bill the government more.  Or the patients’ way.  Seeing Obamacare forcing hospitals not to readmit sick people.  Which would be basically the same as telling them to go and die.  It’s not called a death panel.  But someone in the hospital will have to decide whether to readmit the patient and suffer financial consequences.  Or please the government and not readmit these people.  Which, of course, would be a decision probably resulting in death for these patients.  Not the warm and cuddly Obamacare they told us about.  But it would be the only way the government could reduce health care costs.  Simply refusing to give people medical care.  For death is cheaper in the long run than hospitalization.  Something no doubt the government bureaucrats have factored in their Obamacare.

Medicare’s tough love is not going over well everywhere. Academic medical centers are complaining that the penalties do not take into account the extra challenges posed by extremely sick and low-income patients. For these people, getting medicine and follow-up care can be a struggle…

Various studies, including one commissioned by Medicare, have found that the hospitals with the most poor and African-American patients tended to have higher readmission rates than hospitals with more affluent and Caucasian patients…

Some researchers fear the Medicare penalties are so steep, they will distract hospitals from other pressing issues, like reducing infections and surgical mistakes and ensuring patients’ needs are met promptly. “It should not be our top priority,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health who has studied readmissions. “If you think of all the things in the Affordable Care Act, this is the one that has the biggest penalties, and that’s just crazy.”

Interesting.  Not only does Obamacare use death as a cost-cutting means it also will discriminate against the poor and minorities.  While at the same time making hospitals less safe as money will go to the government in fines instead of combating infections and preventing surgical mistakes.

Death panels and less safe hospitals.  Funny, I don’t recall them telling us this is what they were giving us Obamacare.  Then again, if they told the truth they probably wouldn’t have gotten the votes.  So health care will get incredibly worse.  These policies and our aging population will accelerate our once quality health care system to something akin to what we could find in a third world country.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

« Previous Entries