For all of you who still think the Democratic Party is the Party for poor and working class Americans think twice. Under Obamacare guidelines, the federal government has stated that it will begin issuing fines to more than 2,600 hospitals this next year. The fines are being imposed on those hospitals that treat Medicare patients who end up back at the same hospital within 30 days of their initial discharge.
Under new regulations to Obamacare and Medicare, these penalties are targeting hospitals who treat patients that have had elective hip and knee replacements and those with chronic lung disease.
How does this affect the treatment of poor people? According to a recent analysis conducted by the University of Michigan, the penalties imposed for return visits of patients with chronic lung disease will have the greatest impact on hospitals that care for the poor and minorities. Their study encompassed over 3,000 hospitals that cared for patients with COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
In their study, they discovered that the re-admission rates for treating and safety net hospitals will incur the greatest financial penalties under the new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations. That’s because many of these hospitals treat greater numbers of lower income and minority patients.
CMS states that nearly 20% of Medicare patients are re-admitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged and they consider this to be excessive. Once the precursors of Obamacare began to play a part of the medical world in 2012, CMS started reducing the amounts they paid to hospitals that had excessive re-admission rates for heart attacks, heart failures and pneumonia. Now they plan on doing the same for chronic lung disease which include COPD, and hip/knee replacements
Dr. Michael Sjoding, author of the report is a pulmonary and critical care fellow at the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Internal Medicine. He commented about the study and the new CMS regulations, saying:
“We worry that this policy may cause more harm than good. Medicare is trying to improve patient care and reduce waste, but the hospitals they are penalizing may be the ones who need the most help to do so.”
“If patients can’t afford medications, or have unstable housing situation, they may end up being readmitted to the hospital. No interventions to date have effectively and sustainably reduced COPD readmissions, so it’s unclear what a hospital can do to prevent them.”
If you’ve ever been at a hospital lately, you will find that they will do everything possible in the emergency rooms to avoid having to admit someone to the hospital. If they are admitted, the hospital does everything in their power to send the patient home as soon as possible, sometimes before they are medically ready to be discharged. Obamacare and Medicare guidelines have the hospitals’ hands tied about having people admitted or how long they can stay in the hospital.
Many lower income people, which in some areas are largely made up of minorities, have nowhere else to turn to but their local emergency room when they need medical help. The new regulations are going to cause more hospitals to turn these people in need away with the minimal amount of ER treatment as possible, which will only lead to more frequent returns for treatment. Hence, hospitals and patients are being placed in a nightmarish catch 22 situation where they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
These are the people and hospitals that Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi have lied to the most when they keep saying that more people have better access to quality care than ever before. But neither of them care as they have the best of medical care at our expense. Like the nobility from centuries ago, they don’t have to look upon the faces of the suffering masses as they ride around in the luxurious carriages provided by the sweat and tears of the working class that is so socially beneath them.
In the end, more poor people may stop seeking medical care and possibly dying sooner than if they had the proper care, but I honestly believe that Obamacare is designed to do just that.