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Well, not to split hairs …
In October of 2012, the Daily Mail exposed the highly disturbing realities of the Liverpool Pathway (LCP), the series of guidelines for treating terminally ill patients developed for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).
The most egregious of those realities concerned cash incentives paid to hospitals to ensure a certain percentage of hospital patients would be put on the regime. As healthcare expert Betsy McCaughey reveals, a similar horror show is occurring on this side of the Atlantic, courtesy of ObamaCare. Beginning the same time the LCP scandal was being exposed, the Obama administration began awarding hospitals bonus points for spending the least amount of money on elderly patients. Even worse, the idea was sold to the elderly as a good thing during the 2012 presidential election campaign.
During that campaign, Obama promised seniors that $716 billion in Medicare cuts over the next decade, used to fund the $1.9 trillion in new healthcare spending that expanded Medicaid and created the healthcare exchanges, wouldn’t affect them. When Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney ran an ad attacking the cuts, Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith called it hypocritical. ‘The savings his ad attacks do not cut a single guaranteed Medicare benefit,’ she declared.
Much like everything else this administration contends, the devil is in the very deceiving details. While it’s technically true the cuts didn’t change the Medicare insurance benefits for those receiving them, $416 billion of that $716 billion in cuts were realized in ‘updates to fee-for-service payment rates.’ That was a euphemism used to obscure the reality that hospitals, doctors, hospice care, home care, and Advantage plans paid to care for seniors would be getting reduced payments.
Elderly Americans were supposed to believe those reduced payments would have no negative consequences whatsoever regarding the quality and/or availability of their healthcare.
This is utter nonsense, and there is data to prove it. As McCaughey further notes, research sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and RAND examined over two million elderly patients treated at 208 California hospitals from 1999 to 2008. Published in 2011, the research revealed that elderly patients treated in lower-spending hospitals received less care and had lower survival rates than those treated at higher-spending hospitals.
What? Oh, you mean those old people!
Now you guys are being picky. Everyone knows that any new program is going to have a few glitches and kinks to rub out before it is up and running the way it should. If you are a senior and think you have been, um, lost in the system, contact your Death Pan… er, Quality of Life facilitator immediately.
In other words, old people, relax. Maybe rent a copy of Soylent Green and brew a nice a cup of tea.
We’ll make it as painless as possible.
This post linked by The Other McCain
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