Per Obamacare, Hospitals Cut Care for the Poor; Medicare Hospital Stays Also on the Chopping Block
May 26, 2014 • 2:50PM

Two recent patterns of deliberate harm to health, from the Obama Accountable Care Act, are that hospital systems are upping their fees for charity cases; while at the same time, trying to fend off Obamacare cuts to hospital stays for elderly (Medicare) patients. This situation is not an unforeseen downside to the ACA; it is the intent. The 2010 ACA was foisted on the U.S. for the purpose of cutting care, and implementing the Hitler principle of cutting 'lives not worthy to be lived,' namely, the poor and the old.

FEES TO POOR RAISED. Under the ACA, Federal aid to hospitals serving the poor, has been drastically cut. The ACA killer logic is that, with the mandate for everyone to sign up for health insurance, hospitals will no longer be burdened by caring for patients who can't pay. So hospitals no longer need financial help for their caseload of indigents. That was a deliberate lie. Now many hospitals are upping fees for the poor. Today's New York Times gives several examples:

Missouri. Barnes Jewish Hospital (BJS), in St. Louis, now has instituted co-pays for the uninsured, no matter how poor; and raised rates for their treatment, depending on their income relative to the official poverty level. BJS is part of an 11-facility system of hospitals in Missouri and Illinois.

New Hampshire. The Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, based in Nashua, has stopped providing charity care to those above the poverty line--$11,670 annual income per individual. A set of fees are now in force.

Vermont. The Fletcher Allen hospital system has cut subsidized help to patients whose annual income is up to four times the poverty level.

ACA: THE OLD ARE BEING 'OVER-HOSPITALIZED.' The ACA continues its moves to penalize hospitals for 'over-hospitalizing' elderly--Medicare--patients. In brief, in October, 2013, the CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) issued new regulations--known as the "two midnight rule"--that hospitals will be reimbursed for inpatient costs, only if the Medicare patient stays for two midnights or more. If they stay less, then the hospital gets reimbursed only at an out-patient rate, which is much less, even if the care is the same. Plus, the patient will be made ineligible for follow-up rehab care, which the rules say is contingent on in-patient hospital stay! Plain care-cutting. The CMS will audit hospitals, to ferret out and penalize 'wrong' decisions.

After fierce opposition and ridicule, the "two midnight" audits have been delayed until 2015, but CMS expects hospitals to nevertheless comply with the rotten rules. In May, the CMS released a new report, giving more variations on ways to stiff hospitals and patients, in a 1,600+ page report titled, "Inpatient Prospective Payment Rule for 2015."

On May 20, horror stories on CMS policy came out at a hearing of the House Health Subcommittee, regarding its chiseling payment practices. "The two-midnight rule does not distinguish between clinical populations because it is a time-based policy with no basis in sound clinical judgment," said Dr. Ann Sheehy, from the University of Wisconsin, a hearing witness. "The time of day a patient gets sick, not different clinical needs, may determine a patient's hospital status and insurance benefits."