Has former President Barack Obama’s landmark health care bill actually created a situation where Americans were being refused care?
A recent study takes it one step further and suggests mortality rates among our nation’s poorest communities actually increased because of penalties incurred by the Obamacare legislation.
According to the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, hospitals were being fined heavily for readmitting Medicare patients within one month of being discharged.
This was due to a program created by Obamacare called the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, or HRRP, which was implemented in 2012. It was established because Medicare saw costs approaching $20 million specifically related to readmissions “abuse.”
From 2010 to 2016, the study reported a 2.3 and 3.6 percent reduction in readmissions for heart failure, heart attacks, and pneumonia.
However, during that same time, the study stated there was a “significant increase” in post-discharge death rates in heart failure and pneumonia cases.
The idea behind the HRRP legislation was that it would result in better patient care during the first visit, and of course, save money.
The problem with this is most of the violations were apparently happening in hospitals known as “safety net” hospitals.
These are the hospitals in poorer communities utilized by the poorest and sickest people.
The specific conditions cited in the study were heart failure, heart attacks, and pneumonia.
Many of these individuals did not have a regular doctor, could not afford medications or did not have a doctor to oversee their recovery post-hospital stay.
Instead, they were being pushed through the system, discharged, then hospitals were less likely to readmit them when a problem reoccurs for fear of being hit with a major fine for doing so.
Fortunately, the rules were adjusted in September to ease the requirements on “safety-net” hospitals which primarily serve the poor. But it may have been too late for some.
Repeal and replace!
While our health care system had problems, Obamacare as a solution is clearly a failure on all levels.
It was riddled with problems from the very beginning and should never have been forced on the American people.
It has cost middle-class families thousands of dollars in excessive premiums and deductibles and now it is failing the very people Obama said he most wanted to protect.