Tag: Medicare

Great News! New Medicare Rules will make you feel all warm and fuzzy………..


Bad News! These rules will also kill old folks. But don’t take that from me, ask a doctor, like Milton Wolf

This is the vicious cycle of big government: Institute top-down, central planning to solve problems, real or imagined. Blame its failures on the greed of others. Institute more top-down, central planning to address those problems, real or imagined. Repeat.

Here’s the government’s latest assault on patients: Medicare fines over hospitals’ readmitted patients.

As of Monday, Medicare will start fining hospitals that have too many patients readmitted within 30 days of discharge due to complications. The penalties are part of a broader push under President Barack Obama’s health care law to improve quality while also trying to save taxpayers money.

Sounds great. What could possibly go wrong?

As one central planner put it:

If General Motors and Toyota issue warranties for their vehicles, hospitals should have some similar obligation when a patient gets a new knee or a stent to relieve a blocked artery, Santa contends. “People go to the hospital to get their problem solved, not to have to come back,” he said.

Weak analogy. Would you hold GM or Toyota responsible if someone drove their new car off the lot and then crashed it because they were driving recklessly? Oh, but patients always follow their doctors’ advice, you say? Uh huh.

But setting aside the obvious structural flaw of this plan that punishes hospitals for outcomes that are beyond their control, consider the incentives it creates. The government is now incentivizing hospitals to deny care. 

No two patients are the same. Some are just sicker than others. Some will need more hospitalizations no matter how excellent their care is. Under this new plan, hospitals are incentivized to avoid the sickest patients because they’ll have a higher likelihood of bouncing back and triggering the fines. You better hope your mom isn’t one of them. 

And if your mom does get sick again after a recent hospitalization, the government has just created a powerful incentive for the hospital to deny her readmission. Good luck with that.

Scary stuff to ponder, both my parents are on Medicare, the last thing they need, or that I need for that matter, is to have that extra worry when they get sick. More at Forbes

The Obama administration’s latest target for health care cost control is Medicare hospital re-admissions. Nearly 20% of Medicare patients discharged from a hospital require re-hospitalization within 30 days, costing the government $17 billion per year. The federal government regards many of these re-admissions as “avoidable” wasteful spending. Under ObamaCare, the government has begun imposing financial penalties on hospitals deemed to be readmitting too many Medicare patients within 30 days for pneumonia, heart failure, or myocardial infarct (heart attack). The presumption is that the hospitals didn’t provide proper care initially or didn’t assure appropriate post-hospital care.

Last month, the federal government announced the first round of penalties. To many experts’ surprise, the list included some of the nation’s top hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital (ranked #1 in the latest US News report), Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and University of Michigan Hospital. Over 2200 hospitals across the country were penalized.

In response, hospitals will undoubtedly seek to improve any truly substandard patient care. But many hospitals may also be tempted to game the system to improve their readmission statistics.

There’s already worrisome precedent for such gaming. A recent article in Health Affairs reported a sharp rise in hospitals transferring sick ER patients to short-term “observation” beds (for up to 72 hours sometimes), which don’t count as true hospital admissions. This rise coincided with Medicare payment rules aimed at reducing hospital admissions. Hospital admissions fell, but patients received lower levels of care and likely incurred greater out-of-pocket expenses.

The ObamaCare rules will also pressure doctors to delay re-admissions. Dr. Shabbir Hossain described caring for a woman as an outpatient whose congestive heart failure recurred shortly after hospital discharge. Despite his best efforts, her condition deteriorated daily. He admitted breathing “a sigh of relief” when he got her safely past the 30-day “clock,” which meant the local hospital would be more willing to re-admit her.

Much more at the link, and it will scare you. Odd, Liberals have often decried the role that cost plays in health care, they loathe “greedy” insurance companies that consider cost, yet, ObamaCare has made that worse than ever, and in universal health care, which many Libs long for, there IS no option other than government care. I guess it is OK with the Left if the government pulls the plug on you to save money.


If you make only one video go viral this year……


………make it this one from Stacy McCain

Betsy McCaughey is the former lieutenant governor of New York. She has a Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her Web site isDefendYourHealthCare.com and she is the author of The Obama Health Law: What It Says and How to Overturn It.

Today at Newt Gingrich’s “Newt University” conference, Dr. McCaughey explained that the “skimpy care” that Obama’s health law would impose on Medicare hospital patients “is likely to cause an estimated 40,000 unnecessary deaths each year.” As she explained in a brief video interview with me today, this is not a political charge, but is based on evidence from extensive medical research. Here’s the video — let’s make it viral:y

And as you pass this around, remember WHO passed this law, AGAINST our wishes!


Boy, the Dems must have crossed CNN at some point


Because, as this clip via Donald Douglas shows Anderson Cooper hammering Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Wow! Good for Anderson! This is what we need, for the media to do their job. All Cooper is doing is trying to report something accurately, and Wasserman Schultz just keeps parroting the lie. Frankly, i am amazed that anyone would support her or her party. And do not forget that Wolf Blitzer also raked this hag over the Coals of Truth over Ryan’s Medicare plan

I have no idea what has gotten into CNN, but it should be noted and applauded. Here is another example

And this, where Blitzer hammers the despicable Bill Burton


Is there room under the Magic Obama Bus for Crazy Uncle Joe?


Stacy McCain seems to believe that Biden will be out as VP soon, and gives some pretty good reasons why. 

Obama is about winning. Everything after the tactical consideration, even the long-term security of the country, is something “We’ll get to.” Biden is a liability to the campaign of a daily increasing magnitude. A reporter is going to bring up the Medicare question, for example, and Biden is going to blame state-level mismanagement.

Biden, don’t you know, is ‘experiencing early-onset Alzheimers’, or something. The narrative will shift to what a swell, compassionate guy Obama has been to keep Uncle Choo-Choo ’round these years. Alas, Obama, as a servant of the American people, cannot avoid the hard decisions. Obama has to put his deep affection for Biden aside, and accept Joe’s inability to support the ticket again this fall. With much weeping. Make sure the light hits them alligator tears.

Biden’s gaffes will be reported with increasing frequency and faux emotion between now and the DNC in Charlotte, starting on 03 September. Joe’s ‘illness’ (I’m not a doctor, he may have a no-kidding problem) will be a great, big, fat, emotional freebie. Joe becomes the human sacrifice, savaged by the plans of the evil Republicans. Barack is the savior of the AARP, fighting off that young wolf Ryan, who’s going to fix everything until thoroughly destroyed, don’t you know? Sorry that Ryan was able to take out Uncle Choo-Choo. Or did Biden bravely lay down his political life for the cause? A little martyrdom ain’t so bad, as long as it doesn’t thug any halo from Obama.

If Joe goes who will step in? Is there a rock star out there the Dems can tab as VP? I cannot think of any right off hand. All the young, exciting politicians are Republicans now. West, Rubio, Haley, Christie, Jindal etc. Funny, it seems that the Democrats have become the Uncool Party. Full of retreads, and used-to-bes who never really were in the first place.


Best sign for a Romney/Ryan victory? The GOP “pros” whoever they are are pissy about Ryan pick

The Lonely Conservative has the details, and thinks, as I do, that this is very positive news.

The top story on memeorandum today is Politico’s piece citing all sorts of unnamed Republican “pros” who are fretting about Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan to be his running mate. What do they think, that the Democrats wouldn’t come out and attack and demonize whoever Romney chose? If so, they have no business being in the business of politics.

And the more pessimistic strategists don’t even feign good cheer: They think the Ryan pick is a disaster for the GOP. Many of these people don’t care that much about Romney — they always felt he faced an improbable path to victory — but are worried that Ryan’s vocal views about overhauling Medicare will be a millstone for other GOP candidates in critical House and Senate races.

Let’s get to the caveats: No one is asserting that Washington operatives in either party are oracles or seers. What’s more, it is not as if there is anything like unanimity in GOP circles about the merits of the Ryan pick, though the mood of anxiety and skepticism is overwhelming.

Most of all, if you are one of those people who thinks if someone has something negative to say, they should have the guts to put their name on it, you won’t find much to impress you in this article. Nearly all the Republican professionals interviewed for this story said they would share their unfiltered views only “on background” rules of attribution. (Read More)

Hmm. I wonder if they are some of the same pros who told us that John McCain was the man to run against Hillary Clinton in 2008. How’d that work out for us?

Then again, it could be plain old fashioned sour grapes.

It would be interesting to know how many of these pros didn’t get hired by Romney or their paymasters weren’t chosen or even considered for VP by him.

And then, the GOP “pros” said we cannot win

Go read the rest folks. These “pros” are often wrong, and often are afraid of the GOP nominating a candidate that is too Conservative. They are sort of like that football coach that ALWAYS punts on 4th and short, ALWAYS plays it safe, and usually loses.

What has gotten into Wolf Blitzer lately?


He is not letting Dems like Debbie Wasserman Schultz spin their lies unchallenged, Donald Douglas has video of Wolf REPEATEDLY correcting her lies about Paul Ryan and Medicare! I almost expected she would start having a tantrum, she certainly is not used to the press hammering her.


A stark reminder that a government big enough to give you everything………………

I think you likely know the rest right? Well, The Lonely Conservative has a reminder for us

I was perusing Capitalism Magazine and came across an article written by Richard Ralston and posted about a week ago. He explains how the FDA is not allowing a stem cell procedure in which one’s own cells taken from one part of the body are used to repair cells in the other part. I remember when the left was up in arms because George Bush put a freeze on federal funding for the use of embryonic stem cells, so I’m wondering where the outrage is over this? There aren’t any ethical problems with the using one’s own stem cells, so what’s the problem.

From the article:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has gone to court to prevent the Colorado-based firm Regenerative Sciences from using stem cells developed in one part of your body (bone marrow) to repair damage in other parts of your body, such as joints. The FDA objects to the fact that these cells are chemicals, the use of which they have the power to regulate even though the cells are taken from your body to later be injected back into your body.

The FDA is accustomed to the process by which it requires that many years and millions of dollars be spent to approve drugs developed in a laboratory before anyone is allowed to use them. Regardless of clinical results that show use of stem cells to be highly effective, the FDA finds it intolerable to let you use the cells in your own body without prior approval by a vast and expensive bureaucracy.

It is a shame that no one told all of those who would benefit from stem cell research that the benefits of such research would not actually be available to patients. Treatment of individuals does not comply with the FDA’s regulatory paradigm. Personalized medicine may work new miracles, but care for the individual must be subordinated to supervision by a multitude of administrators.

Growing government involvement in medicine, over generations, has resulted in control for the controller’s sake. The most extreme example of this is the refusal of the FDA, in many cases, to forbid access by terminally ill patients to drugs that have passed the first phase of testing, which establishes safety. (Read More)

Talk about stuck on stoopit! This is the natural result when we lose liberty though isn’t it? Once we cede control to government, all bets are off, and soon, all liberties are lost. For instance, were you aware that if you are on Medicare

In 2010, another hurdle was created with the passage of Obamacare. The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)–”independent” because it is appointed by the President–decides whether it will allow payment for any care, including use of your stem cells. If you are on Medicare and your physician accepts Medicare patients, you may not even use your own money for treatment with your own stem cells. No physician in Medicare is allowed to accept payment for anything not covered by Medicare.

Got that? What possible business is it of the government to tell a doctor, what treatments they may provide, or what form of legitimate payment they can accept for that treatment? What does such a stipulation have to do with curbing costs? If you pay out of pocket, Medicare obviously is not paying, so, what possible reason is there? Think on that my friends. Like I, and many others have said over and again. This is all about control!