Monday, November 23, 2009

Closing Hospital Clinics Becomes Necessary, Doing Good is Now Bad

Each had crossed the border years before, smuggled across the desert by a coyote, never imagining the journey would lead to a drab and dusty clinic on the ninth floor of Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital.
David Walter Banks for The New York Times:

Fidelia Perez is in a hospital room after receiving emergency dialysis on Oct. 13.

Some knew before the crossing that they had diabetes or lupus or high blood pressure, but it was only after they arrived that their kidneys began to fail. To survive, they needed dialysis at a cost of about $50,000 a year, which their sporadic work as housekeepers, painters and laborers could not begin to cover.

And so they turned to Grady, a taxpayer-supported safety-net hospital that would provide dialysis to anyone in need, even illegal immigrants with no insurance or ability to pay. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning, the 15 or so patients would settle into their recliners, four to a room, and while away the monotonous three-hour treatments by chitchatting in Spanish.

That all changed on Oct. 4, when the cash-strapped public hospital closed its outpatient dialysis clinic, leaving 51 patients — almost all illegal immigrants — in a life-or-death limbo.

For Grady, which has served Atlanta’s poor for 117 years, it was an excruciating choice, a stark reflection of what happens when the country’s inadequate health care system confronts its defective immigration policy.

Like other hospitals, particularly public hospitals, Grady has been left to provide costly treatments to nonpaying illegal residents who most likely could not have obtained such care in their home countries. American taxpayers and health care consumers have borne the expense.

In a bait and switch move to cover the extreme expenses of their health care bill, this is what Dick Morris says about the Medicare "fix": Anxious to avoid raising taxes too much to pay for their health care proposals, the Obama administration and its congressional allies hit on a great new idea: Make the states raise their taxes to fund the program, instead.

Both the House and the Senate bills require that states cover a larger percentage of their people under Medicaid -- a joint state and federally funded program. The idea was to force states to raise their taxes to cover a big part of the health care bill for treating poor people. Since the Feds can simply charge any increase in spending to their already overdrawn bank account, but the states have to balance their budgets, the increased state spending for Medicaid will cause sharp increases in state taxes. And the governors will get the blame, not Obama and not the Congress.


Kevin Anderson is a junior at Southern Lehigh High School near Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is also a longstanding member of Boy Scout Troop 301 in the Lehigh Valley. In order to receive his Eagle Scout status, he devised a plan whereby a group of Boy Scouts spent 250 hours clearing a 1000 ft. hiking and biking trail on the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Trail. After the Mayor praised him for this effort, the SEIU has now threatened to sue the Allentown City Council because about 40 SEIU workers had recently been laid off, and they should have been hired to do this work. What a group is that Obama-linked group of union thugs..... the SEIU.

News bulletin: A union leader in Pennsylvania has resigned after being criticized for threatening legal action over an aspiring Eagle Scout's volunteer project.


Brent Baker reports that "back in August, the CBS Evening News denigrated the town hall questioners as “unruly protests,” but on Monday reporter Chip Reid warned:

The American people are increasingly questioning the President's credibility. He says the stimulus has saved or created 640,000 jobs, but only seven percent of Americans believe it has created any. And he's repeatedly promised health care reform will not increase the deficit, but a mere 19 percent believe him.
Reid proceeded to relay how CBS News analyst John Dickerson “says for many Americans there's a basic disconnect -- a President who promises to trim the budget but only seems to want to spend and spend.” More amazing for CBS, Reid noted how “highly respected foreign policy analyst Leslie Gelb” called Obama's just-completed Asia trip “'amateur hour' for failing to get deals locked in before the President left home.”

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