ObamaCare: What’s Really Sending Seniors Off a Cliff

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The NEJM article quoted another study, which found that among persons 18 to 64 years of age, the rate of rehospitalization was “only weakly related to age.” So, why is Dr. Berwick given to such fascist inclinations with grandma and other Medicare patients? The devilish ObamaCare law makes him do it.

The NEJM physicians wrote: “We were unable to link measures of the number of beds in a community” to the over readmitting of patients or whether “higher rehospitalizaion rates are evidence of better care or just more care…[B]etter care may reduce the number of rehospitalizaions, but we have no data on where these features are provided.” Research, the doctors mentioned, shows that palliative care can reduce rehospitalization. (That should be apparent because palliative care normally is given to those in their final stage of life. It is care for comfort, not cure and normally found in Hospice.)

Variation in readmissions among different states and hospitals “may be possible on a national scale,” the authors of the NEJM study said, but “the data do not show which practices cause the differences or whether the differences are exportable” to other hospitals.

When the typical patient has “two chances of three of being rehospitalized or dying” within a year after discharge “it is probably wiser to consider all Medicare patients as having a high risk of rehospitalization…It would be premature to predict how much [cost] reduction can be achieved,” the study’s authors wrote.

This section of ObamaCare is a direct physical threat to seniors, whose lives apparently are not considered worth the money to pay for their return to the hospital. It also is a killer for hospitals. In Detroit, just as one example, St. Joseph Mercy Health System (hospitals) depends on Medicare for 45 percent of its revenue. In rural communities, the percentage often is even higher.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has the power to expand the list of the three selected conditions without limit after 2013.  So, what ObamaCare considers “excessive” hospital care is, in truth, a real and effective way for Democrats to push grandma off the cliff.

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  • geez

    The Obama/Cass Sunstein combo would like nothing more than to make Hitler look like amateur hour.

    • Fred Dawes

      You are so right but being one of the last Americans I still know how to use the weapons of freedom against thugs if you know what I mean?
      After all this is a new communist/nazi state! AND OBAMA IS RIGHT OUT Of nazi germany and it is only the start of this coming evil the thugs will soon take people in for questioning and will disappear people one by one until the day come when millions will disappear into camps And just like the 1933-45 campos one way in and one way out if you know what i mean?

  • mwade002

    Obama Care, open to public participation, the peoples plan. We don't want health care reform shoved down our throats. I think the people have a right to be heard, to present input on issues that effect them. I don't understand why the GOP is scuttling our chance for a voice. They look foolish, grown men acting like juveniles "the plan, the plan man, I got the plan, where is your plan, the plan, the plan at all costs, the plan with no compromise,the plan, the plan, the plan."

    • American_Flag

      It's too late for that – they already rammed it down our throats and the repeal process is nearly impossible. Thanks to our wonderful world of socialist politicians serving themselves and special interst groups all while exempting themselves. History will repeat itself in the form of revolution or civil war. It seems to be the only viable solution. Give me liberty or give me death was not just a phrase it was the MANTRA!

    • winoceros

      Maybe the medications you're clearly taking will be covered better under Paul Ryan's plan than Obama's.

      Let me ask…since there was so much participation of the "people" involved in the crafting of Obamacare, did you know about this provision of Obamacare before it was shown to you, in detail, with examples and supporting research, or is the first you've known of it?

  • whobeen

    So let me get this straight…
    An old guy gets sick enough that he no longer can treat himself at home and has to get admitted to a hospital in which the aches and pains that got him there are relieved, say, in a few days, and then he is sent home and has a relapse…if he goes back to the same hospital for re-admittance, the hospital gets fined tons of money for incomplete care. So in order not to get fined tons of money the hospital sends the old guy home where he dies from lack of medical care.
    It appears that the Democrats have a 'treat-once' policy and drop dead if you need a follow-up due to unforseen circumstances.

    • davarino

      Ya, and do you think they have to live by the same rules? They are the elite, they are special. They get the good care from now till dooms day. Why do we keep voting in these prima donna's.

    • American_Flag

      Bingo! It's a one shot deal when you are a geezer…go to hospital and die there or go die at home…Hospitals will quickly realizre that a "Jack Kavorkian style visit" will be cheaper in the long run, rather than sending a patient home only to get a relapse.

      It's Hitler's Germany all over again, with smoke and mirrors of the modern era.

    • sedoanman

      Their fascination and obsession with death and communism are the prime movers of their dementia.

  • whobeen

    And what if the patient seeks a different hospital than the one he got treated at first…will the second hospital get fined tons of money for inadequate treatment by the first hopspital?

    • American_Flag

      Good point…very good point. Further proof that all those serving the people, in D.C. are complete inept imbiciles!

    • winoceros

      "Oh, uhhhh, we didn't think of that….uhhhh." – Beavis and Butthead, crafters of Section 3025

      Seriously, the hospital patient-dumping and hot-potato that would ensue would make Michelle Obama proud.

    • Fred Dawes

      most will get no care and just die in some room or street it will become normal place to see old dead people and the dehumanize/debased life will be called normal.

  • American_Flag

    And you thought Obamma cared about you, and that he would continue to care about you when you are a senior..WRONG PEOPLE -WAKE UP AND READ THE BILL that everyone thought was the greatest thing the country has ever seen.

    What a travesty. He's a sicko, a modern day Adolph Hitler hiding under the guise of a nice guy. But only a nice guy whilst the teleprompter is going. Outside of that device he is a dolt like any other….

  • ClaireSolt

    What are the alternatives? They probably vary from one community to the next and families, too. Here, they sent me to a rehab after two days of acute hospital care, mostly, I think, because they worried about me living alone. Certainly, there are lot of places that don't have rehab and hospice, and there are lots of elderly without interested family. We now see the Catch 22 of compassionate demands for universal health care. Nobody wants to pay for it, not even libs.

    This short sighted one size fits all reminds me of Ed Rendell's notioce to PA untilities demanding they reduce sales by one per cent a year. He probably thought they would encourage people to replace old refrigerators, but in the process of this nanny state objective he undoubatably disincented industry. Or, on the point of health. The FDA is revisiting 70"s research on the role of food coloring in hyperactivity but skipping the finding that implicated apples in the same research. Meanwhile first Lady Obama is busy promoting apples at school and at Mac Donalds. The government is too big and far reaching to be held to account for accuracy and reliability. Let em eat cake!

    • winoceros

      Indeed, in communities where one hospital is available, the disincentive for return will lead to either longer hospital stays that are unnecessary out of an abundance of caution and fear of not getting reimbursed for a readmission, or the aforementioned scenario of leaving them unsupported in their homes.

      What this Section says is that doctors don't know best, Donald Berwick and his pencil pushers do. This perverse disincentive you suggest will always occur when "fairness" is wrongly defined: fairness is not equality of outcome, but equality of opportunity. Medical care and energy both come on the backs of others' labor, so there is no right innately, divinely, nor Constitutionally to those products.

  • whobeen

    If a picture is worth a thousand words go here http://normanhooben.blogspot.com/2011/06/obamacar… and check it out.

  • Steven Fallis

    Obamacare was set for one thing and one thing only…to ration care. You don't need medical training, like myself, to have common sense. I will welcome any comments from those who can explain how a program (Medicare) can have over 500 billion dollars yanked from it's moorings over ten years while over 30 million individuals (net) are being added to its payrolls AND deliver better care. Somebody isn't getting treated and somebody isn't getting paid!

    • http://www.okcteaparty.org Dan

      Explanation = Either "Magic" or what is intended to come down the road in the future to "fix" the, once again, intended train wreck. For now, perhaps not even the illusion of medical insurance coverage. Or "coverage", yes; actual care: fuggettabouttit (except of course for the elites). Sort of like oil drilling: lots of leases but no permits. Meanwhile Commandante Sub-Zero creates the illusion of the "fix" to those without eyes and ears will not see or hear.

  • Patrick Henry

    The government (collectivist) model creates incentives that produce a reinforcing cycle of rising costs leading to rationing, shortages of doctors and medicine, waiting lines, etc. To paraphrase Dr. King: medical care too long delayed is medical care denied.

    Milton Friedman published an analysis of the health care industry which identified 3rd party billing and micro-management through regulations as the primary culprits for uncontrollable costs. FDR's price and wage controls created such distortions in the marketplace that businesses began offering insurance to get around these restrictions. Thus began a decades-long experiment in concealing the true cost of medical care. Once Medicare was enacted, this distorted the market even further and created a demographic time bomb as the Baby Boom would eventually cash in on their subsidized coverage. In 1965, the subsidy averaged 53%. Today the taxpayer is on the hook for 88% of the bill.

    The solution: complete privatization (vouchers for the money already paid in) and deregulation at the federal and state level.

  • winoceros

    No sweetie…you're a little confused and must not know how to read.

    Moneys given to each eligible senior (and they're all eligible) is for a voucher to buy a private health insurance policy…you do know what a health insurance policy is, don't you? Additional monies, dependent on income and assets, would be given to the more indigent, etc. for copay support, etc.

    Where do you get this stuff?

    And who's rand.?

    Please read before you post and stay away from ACORN and MediaMatters. They suck IQ points.

  • Jim_C

    Well I think it's inevitable we're eventually going to adopt some form of the Eurpoean model. Obviously we can't keep going the way we've been going while for the last 40 years we've talked about reform.

    How about the Swiss model? Private insurers sell a plan, everyone has to buy it. they can't profit from the basic plan, but they can offer supplementary products. The government pays for anything over 7% of your income (or something like that).

    Now think about this: If the government subsidzes anything over 7%, that means that they've agreed on a goal that health care should essentially cost around 7% of GDP, which is on the high side of per capita health care costs in most of the developed world.

    And HALF what our average is!

  • GeorgeM

    So here are the 'death panels' disguised as penalties for hospitals. Don't let them back in the hospital — let them die.

  • Jeff

    I think your article is a bunch of hot air. The penalty is for hospitals that have higher-than-expected readmissions rates for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia. It is known that many hopitals are admitting inappropriately and training is offered to hospitals who are now have high readmissions rates before penalties go into effect. The max penalty in 2015 is only 3% anyway and so it really isn't that much of a deterrent to a hospital hell bent on defrauding Uncle Sugar of its Medicare and Medicaid money. This program doesn't take any money out of Granma's or the taxpayer's pocketbook.

  • ClaireSolt

    People have different priorities. I have lived a long time and I would not spend $15,000/yr on medical care. I would rather have a boat. I can face my mortality, and I believe this is just collusion that benefits certain stakeholders. I have no illusion that I am one of them.

  • whobeen

    Ref (Jeff): "The max penalty in 2015 is only 3% anyway…" What a poor excuse for the defense! There should be no penalty for readmission period!