Editorial: New Medicare rule unfair to elderly

The new Medicare dictate slamming hospitals with hefty fines for readmitting the elderly beyond a new government limit is

both unfair to senior citizens and is likely to drive up healthcare costs for everyone.

As of Monday, Oct. 1, these unfeeling government bureaucrats started fining hospitals that have too many patients readmitted

within 30 days of discharge due to complications.

This is outrageous. What gives these

heartless government pencil pushers the right to judge an individual’s

medical need for

readmission to a hospital due to complications? Needless to say,

the answer to that question is Obamacare, one of the most

dubious laws ever passed by Congress and signed by a president.

It is estimated this new Medicare dictate will have an impact on about two-thirds of hospitals serving Medicare patients,

or some 2,200 facilities. These hospitals are expected to be slapped with an average of $125,000 in fines per facility.

This dictate is also likely to drive up costs for everyone because, no doubt, those fines are likely to be passed on to non-Medicare patients since the fines will obviously drive up the hospital’s cost of doing business.

And who is going to pay when the

hospital’s start getting sued when elderly patients die prematurely

because they weren’t

readmitted because of the government’s arbitrary limit on

admissions? It won’t be the government. The self-righteous bureaucrats

will probably just pile more fines on the hospitals.

But worse than the cost issues is the

fact that this new government dictate is another step in making our

seniors second-class-citizens

when it comes to healthcare.

People who have private insurance or can self-pay won’t have any such restraint on their doctors and hospitals. They won’t

have bureaucrats looking over their doctors’ shoulders when they need to go back into the hospital.

This horrible new Medicare dictate will give hospital every incentive to treat only those with private insurance and none

to treat Medicare patients. It is one more unnecessary government barrier to delivering quality healthcare to the elderly.

Whether a patient needs to be readmitted to a hospital should be solely up to the patient, his or her doctor, and the hospital.

We need to get government bureaucrats out of the process entirely.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney,

Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.