Baucus Wears Obama's Moustache: Senate Healthcare 'Reform' Legislation Is Murderous
September 9, 2009 • 10:09AM

Pushed by President Barack Obama, Senator Max Baucus "unveiled" his healthcare "reform" legislative proposal on Sept. 7, and it is full of measures for murderous denial of medical care, in line with Obama's overall Nazi-modelled euthanasia thrust. This character of Baucus' proposed "bipartisan" Senate bill is more significant than the much-reported facts: That it sets up no "public option"; and that it taxes existing health benefts to pay for bringing in millions of new customers for the HMOs. The Baucus bill, toward which the White House is now pushing the House Democratic leaders, completely confirms Lyndon LaRouche's assessment of Obama's healthcare "reform": it's Nazi. 

* In Medicaid, the Baucus bill defines thinly-veiled "pre-existing conditions" for denial of care, simply changing the name to "preventable conditions." "The Secretary would also establish procedures for and provide grants to states to collect and voluntarily report health care quality data for Medicaid-eligible adults. Additionally, the Secretary, in consultation with states, would be required to identify specific preventable health care acquired conditions [obesity-related, smoking-related, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions—ed.] and would prohibit payments for services related to such conditions." 

* In Medicare, Baucus would create a Medicare Commission—what OMB Director and behaviorist kook economist Peter Orszag drafted as the Independent Medicare Advisory Commission (IMAC). Since LaRouche has destroyed "IMAC" politically in this Summer's mass strike ferment, Baucus uses a different term for the same thing. His "MC" "would submit proposals to Congress to extend Medicare solvency and improve quality in the Medicare program. Congress would have an opportunity to ... pass an alternative proposal with an equivalent amount of budgetary savings. Should Congress not pass an alternative measure, the Secretary of HHS would be required to implement the provisions included in the original MC proposal." The MC's purpose would be "to reduce annual market basket [payment] updates for hospitals, home health providers, nursing homes, hospice providers, long-term care hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, including adjustments to reflect expected gains in productivity.

A second national board, "comprised of health care providers, experts, and stakeholders" would be set up "to identify physicians' services that are overvalued in the Medicare physician fee schedule. In consultation with the expert panel, the Secretary would be required to adjust payments for those services..."

A "Physician Value-Based Purchasing" provision would "require all eligible health professionals to participate by 2011, establishing payment incentives for physicians to appropriately order high-cost imaging services, expanding the Medicare physician feedback program, and penalizing physicians who utilize significantly more resources than their peers.

A "Hospital Value-Based Purchasing" provision would tie "a percentage of hospital payment" to hospital outcomes with patients "related to common and high-cost conditions, such as cardiac, surgical and pneumonia care." The more serious the patient's condition, the greater risk the hospital is then taking, in treating him or her, of having its overall payments cut.

The same is imposed on home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, and other medical care providers.

A "Reducing Avoidable Hospital Readmissions" provision "would direct CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a Federal agency—ed.] to track national and hospital-specific data on the readmission rates of Medicare participating hospitals for certain high-cost conditions that have high rates of potentially avoidable hospital readmissions. Starting in 2011, hospitals with readmission rates above a certain threshold would have payments for the original hospitalization reduced by 20%...."

Imaging centers would require a 90% utilization rate for their MRI, CT, and other equipment in order not to have Medicare payments cut, not the 50% utilization rate required now.

Medicare payments to hospitals for treatment of uninsured, non-paying patients would be progressively cut starting in FY 2015.

Physician-owned hospitals would be barred from entering into participation in Medicare.

In the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), Baucus would eliminate S-CHIP entirely in 2013 when its current authorization ends, and let 4-5 million children be paid for instead in their parents' private insurance plans, bought through the new "national insurance exchange." Obama, of course, lies that anyone who "likes" their present plan will be able to keep it—not including children, evidently.

Overall, the Baucus proposal would reduce the average portion of medical expenses paid by HMOs and private insurers, to 65-66%. The current average is close to 80%!

The legislation would create a non-profit institute for comparative effectiveness research (CER).

A demonstration project to evaluate the use of bundled payments (what used to be called the notorious "capitation" flat fees to primary, specialist, and hospital physician's combined per patient per condition) for acute and post-acute care ... would be mandated."

This provides only a sampling of Baucus' measures for making American's pay with their medical care and some with their lives, for the multi-trillion-dollar costs of bailing out a bankrupt financial system.