Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Obama's War on Chronic Illness Sufferers

Democrats keep insisting Obamacare does not ration care.  But, what do you call it when Obamacare forces changes to Medicare that result in hospitals being told exactly how long a patient can be treated for an illness and then those hospitals are fined if patients are readmit within 30 days because they weren't given enough time to cure their ailments?
"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..."
The fines for readmission are going to be heavy burdens for hospitals to bear.
"About two-thirds of the hospitals serving Medicare patients, or some 2,200 facilities, will be hit with penalties averaging around $125,000 per facility this coming year, according to government estimates."
The total fines are expected to exceed $290 million dollars over the next 12 months.[1]  What does that mean for Hospital patients?  It means fewer doctors and it means higher costs.

When the new readmission fines are combines with Medicare's inpatient DTR, which limits the number of days a patient is covered for care during a hospital stay, the level of quality care is sure to be affected, especially for patients with chronic illnesses.  The DTRs are different for every disease, but force doctors to release patients when that limit is reached whether they should be or not.

This process which puts the government between patients and their doctors will result in many patients being forced to be readmitted and Hospitals facing fines.  The fear of these fines will result in hospitals being reluctant to readmit patients, exchanging sub par outpatient care in situations where doctors would rather have their patient admitted.

Not only will these reckless cuts to medicare raise healthcare costs for everyone, but they will endanger lives.  It's not too late, however.  If seniors want to keep the Medicare they were promised they need to make their voices heard in November and vote in candidates who will do nothing less than a full repeal of Obamacare.

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