Obama Dooms Seniors To Ravages Of Aging





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On Oct. 1, 2012 the Obama administration started awarding bonus points to hospitals that spend the least on elderly patients. It will result in fewer knee replacements, hip replacements, angioplasty, bypass surgery, and cataract operations.

These are the five procedures that have transformed aging for older Americans. They used to languish in wheelchairs and nursing homes due to arthritis, cataracts, and heart disease. Now they lead active lives.

But the Obama administration is undoing that progress. By cutting $716 billion from future Medicare funding over the next decade and rewarding the hospitals that spend the least on seniors, the Obama health law will make these procedures hard to get and less safe.

The Obama health law creates two new entitlements for people under age 65 – subsidies to buy private health plans and a vast expansion of Medicaid. More than half the cost of these entitlements is paid for by cutting what hospitals, doctors, hospice care, home care, and Advantage plans are paid to care for seniors.

Just Take Pill

Astoundingly, doctors will be paid less to treat a senior than to treat someone on Medicaid, and only about one-third of what a doctor will be paid to treat a patient with private insurance.

On July 13, 2011, Richard Foster, chief actuary for Medicare, warned Congress that seniors will have difficulty finding doctors and hospitals to accept Medicare. Doctors who do continue to take it will not want to spend time doing procedures such as knee replacements when the pay is so low. Yet the law bars them from providing care their patients need for an extra fee. You’re trapped.

President Obama seems to think that too many seniors are getting these procedures. At a town hall debate in 2009, he told a woman “maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.”

Science proves that the president is wrong. Knee replacements, for example, not only relieve pain but also save lives. Seniors with severe osteoarthritis who opt for knee replacement are less apt to succumb to heart failure and have a 50% higher chance of being alive five years later than arthritic seniors who don’t undergo the procedure, according to peer-reviewed scientific research.

Yet Foster warned Congress that 15% of hospitals may stop treating seniors once the Obama-Care cuts go into effect. The rest will have to lower the standard of care. Hospitals will have $247 billion less over the next decade to care for the same number of seniors as if the health law had not been enacted.

Obama claims his Medicare cuts will knock out waste and excessive profits. Untrue. Medicare already pays hospitals less than the actual cost of caring for a senior, on average 91 cents for every dollar of care. No profit there. Pushing down rates will force hospitals to spread nursing staff thinner.

Elderly patients will have a worse chance of surviving their stay and going home. When Medicare reduced payment rates to hospitals as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, hospitals incurring the largest cuts laid off nurses.

Rewarding Skimpy Care

Eventually, patients at these hospitals had a 6% to 8% worse chance of surviving a heart attack, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research report (March 2011).

In addition to the across-the-board cuts, the Obama administration will now impose a new measure on hospitals: “Medicare spending per beneficiary.” Hospitals that spend the least on seniors get bonus points, and higher-spending hospitals get demerits.

Hospitals will even be penalized for care consumed up to 30 days after patients are discharged, for example, for outpatient physical therapy following a hip or knee replacement.

There are ways to control Medicare spending, such as inching up the eligibility age or asking well-off seniors to pay more. Forcing hospitals to skimp on care is deadly.

Research sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (Annals of Internal Medicine, February 2011) shows that heart attack patients at the lowest-spending hospitals are 19% more likely to die than patients of the same age at higher-spending hospitals. Yet the Obama health law pushes all hospitals to imitate the lowest spending ones.

Ignore the political rhetoric and look at the scientific evidence. The Medicare cuts in the Obama health law will end Medicare as we’ve known it and doom seniors to painful aging and shorter lives.

 

This commentary appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission. 

 





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Comments

  1. Harold L. Barlett says:

    The ACA, or "Obamacare", and all its disasters, along with the theft from Medicare to support it, has been designed to be such a disaster that people will be willing to accept complete socialized medicine or the "single payer" system that Obama and his communist fellow travelers wanted all along! If things are not turned around in the upcoming midterm congressional elections we will be left few options to deal with the destruction of the Republic.

  2. Obama what a joke I hope all that voted for him are very happy

    • Linda From NY says:

      Hi Tom,
      I hope that all of these losers that voted for him are feeling the pain more then all of us, that is what I wish for, between voter fraud and all of these morons supporting this madman we the American people are screwed. I hate this man and I hate what he is doing to the elderly and all of us, may he and his family be cursed as they are cursing this once Great Nation

  3. Obama should put his mother in law in the hospital this year to save money.
    THIS MAN IS COMPLETELY INSANE AND SHOULD BE CHECKED OUT FOR INSABILITY

  4. Haagred the Dark One says:

    Well it looks like NOW is the time to move UP to a Third World Country!

  5. Who the hell this clown think he is shame on you Obama I lose all interest in you if you can break laws so shall we the people

  6. Seeks_the_truth says:

    I can personally confirm this report is correct. I know this because my mother was a victim of this practice.
    No one cares to hear this story, but know that it's true.
    Because my mother was 75 years old, she was denied care. Her physician suddenly couldn't practice at the same hospital she had been going to for 40+ years. She was denied medications that had previously been covered for years. She was denied procedures that could have saved her life.
    I say could have because no one ever said what she 'died' of. They didn't know.
    I was told straight out she is too old for care and they want to let her die.
    So much for Medicare.
    What's interesting is today I received a list of care and services charged to Medicare for her last days in the ICU. Many charges for doctors and procedures she never saw or had.
    Good luck to all of you elders.
    If we don't stop this now, we're in trouble.
    If you don't fight now, you won't be able to when it counts.
    Don't think your child can fight for you either. They've changed that law too.

    • Linda From NY says:

      I am very sorry for what you went through, what this man is doing to the elderly and the hurt he is causing to the families is evil, Obama is an evil man and I pray that he is brought to justice for the crimes against the American people

    • Edwardkoziol says:

      Seeks since you told me about your mother I have a friend who is going through the same thing you did.This is a terrible thing for our mongrel president to do to the elderly.

      • Seeks_the_truth says:

        Oh Ed, I am so sorry for your friend. Tell them I'm praying for them. It pathetic that any of us have to go through this. We were promised long ago that if we worked hard we could retire without great worry.
        They lied…..again.
        I did learn some things through my fight, so if there is anything I can do or enlighten on the issue, email me and I'll pass it on.
        It feels like the Nazi's and Hitler is in charge again.
        Senseless MURDER of our elders, invalid young and those who don't 'contribute' to society.
        Make sure your friend puts on RECORD that NOTHING is to be done WITHOUT their written consent. I found this step out too late. By the second day they had doomed my mom. But you know the specifics.
        It's going to be awhile before I can get through the grieving process. Poor Betsy is feeling neglected. :(

  7. StandUP_4YourRIGHTS says:

    Does this website ignore the First Amendment?
    (Sara Peller) WHERE'S MY POSTS!

  8. dewiseguy says:

    Stupid people that sign a contract before reading it, need impeachment.

  9. MuslimLuvChrist says:

    Fuk da nigga

  10. Stand-UP4YourRIGHTS says:

    Your comment must be approved by the site admins before it will appear publicly.
    Say wa?

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