May 4, 2013

Medicare Enforcing Healthcare Rationing

Yes, a very drastic statement, but this is what you need to bring attention to the recent actions of Medicare. Two articles recently are highlighting what Medicare is doing at the behest of Congress and the President. The most recent example of the numerous cancer patients being turned away from treatment because of sequestration and the President's desire to make it painful for Americans.

Rather than suffer a financial collapse, most cancer clinics are turning away cancer patients on Medicare. This is especially true for those cancer patients requiring the most expensive of cancer drugs. However, even if cancer is the one disease highlighted by the media, other diseases, and even routine Medicare visits will take a hit and the senior citizens will be the ones on the short end of medical care.

Call it rationing, healthcare restrictions, the people affected will be the seniors, and they will be the ones suffering. All because we have a crybaby President that whines when he doesn't get his way.

The second article is about Medicare quietly killing seniors. This started with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA). This like the sequestration was done by Congress to reduce the federal deficit. The sequestration is part of the deal worked out by our President to appease Congress and he did not expect that it would be allowed to happen. Now that it has happened, our President is whining and trying to blame Congress for his part in this.

When the BBA went into effect, many predicted that hospitals would make deep cuts by becoming more efficient. Instead, researchers found that the heart attack death rate spiked because hospitals only reduced staff to cut operating costs. What the researchers left unexplained, but very important in a policy context, is what happened as a result to Medicare patients being treated for all medical problems, not just heart attacks. This is called rationing of healthcare for seniors.

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