307,000 Vets Died Waiting For VA Health Care

Report: 307,000 Veterans Died Waiting For Veterans Affairs Healthcare – Weasel Zippers


By the time the VA got around to it, they’d been dead for years.

(CNN) Hundreds of thousands of veterans listed in the Department of Veterans Affairs enrollment system died before their applications for care were processed, according to a report issued Wednesday.

The VA’s inspector general found that out of about 800,000 records stalled in the agency’s system for managing health care enrollment, there were more than 307,000 records that belonged to veterans who had died months or years in the past.

In a response to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs’ request to investigate a whistleblower’s allegations of mismanagement at the VA’s Health Eligibility Center, the inspector general also found VA staffers incorrectly marked unprocessed applications and may have deleted 10,000 or more records in the last five years.

In one case, a veteran who applied for VA care in 1998 was placed in “pending” status for 14 years. Another veteran who passed away in 1988 was found to have an unprocessed record lingering in 2014, the investigation found.

Keep reading



How Uncle Sam Plans To Cheat Granny Out Of Health Care (Betsy McCaughey)

How Uncle Sam Plans To Cheat Granny Out Of Health Care – Betsy McCaughey


Everybody knows if you don’t pay to repair your car, you limit its life.

The same is true with people. We need medical care to avoid becoming clunkers.

For a half-century, Medicare has enabled seniors to get that care. But now the Obama administration is pressuring hospitals to skimp.

Last week, the administration announced the largest-ever change in how Medicare pays for care. It’s called “bundled payments,” and it’s the latest trick to squeeze care from seniors.

Bundling will make it financially risky for hospitals in New York and many other areas of the country to do hip and knee replacements. These two procedures have transformed the experience of aging, allowing seniors to stay active.

But President Obama says too many seniors are getting these operations.

When the subject of hip replacements came up in a 2009 town-hall meeting, he said “maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the pain killer.”

Science proves the president is wrong. Seniors with severe arthritis who opt for a knee replacement are 50 percent more likely to still be alive seven years later than seniors who don’t. Pain and immobility are killers.

Medicare is moving from paying doctors and hospitals for each item and service they provide to the new bundling system in January 2016.

It’s being rolled out in New York City, Newark, Buffalo, New Haven and New London, Conn., and many other regions, including Los Angeles. About 100,000 seniors will feel the pain, one quarter of the number expected to get hip and knee replacements each year.

Hospitals in these areas will have to settle for a flat fee for all the care a knee- or hip-replacement patient might need – including surgery, pain killers, hospital stays, rehabilitation and home care – regardless of how things go.

If there are complications, the hospital and doctors lose out. Hospitals will have to cut corners, and avoid the costliest patients altogether. So if you’ve been considering getting a hip or knee replacement, do it before January.

Ezekiel Emanuel, the president’s health-care adviser, applauds the impending change, promising that “savings are immediate and guaranteed.” What savings? Not for you.

Bundled payments will force cuts in care, not necessarily “savings.” The new system will set up a conflict of interest between patients and the very people they need to trust.

Whatever the patient gets will come off the hospital’s bottom line and out of the doctors’ own pockets at the end of the year.

Seniors are guinea pigs in this new scheme. The RAND Corp. says there are no studies to show the impact on patients.

Isn’t that what health care is supposed to be about? RAND says the scheme risks putting “pressure on physicians to spend less time with patients or on hospitals to decrease amenities.”

Health-care analysts at Lewin Group predict hospitals will scrimp by sending patients directly home with only a part-time health aide instead of to full-time rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility.

Another risk is that hospitals will use low-cost implants instead of allowing surgeons to opt for newer prostheses that give patients more range of movement.

Bundling payments is one of several ploys to shortchange seniors. In October 2012, Medicare began awarding bonus points to the hospitals that spend the least per senior, despite evidence that spending less results in higher death rates.

Americans know Medicare is running out of money.

But it’s better to have an honest conversation about how to extend its solvency, including raising the eligibility age and enlisting competition among private insurers, than to have the hidden incentives to cut care the Obama administration is using.

Rationing is invisible. Patients won’t know about the care they should have gotten or how much less they could have suffered.

Bundled payments, like other perverse incentives buried in ObamaCare, destroy Medicare as we’ve known it.



Leftist Nightmare Update: The Hidden Failure Of Obama’s Health Care Overhaul

The Hidden Failure Of Obama’s Health Care Overhaul – Roll Call


At least 2.9 million Americans who signed up for Medicaid coverage as part of the health care overhaul have not had their applications processed, with some paperwork sitting in queues since last fall, according to a 50-state survey by CQ Roll Call.

Those delays – due to technological snags with enrollment websites, bureaucratic tangles at state Medicaid programs and a surge of applicants – betray Barack Obama’s promise to expand access to health care for some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

As a result, some low-income people are being prevented from accessing benefits they are legally entitled to receive. Those who face delays may instead put off doctors appointments and lose access to their medicines, complicating their medical conditions and increasing the eventual cost to U.S. taxpayers.

Democratic lawmakers who have promoted the law’s historic coverage expansion are wary of acknowledging problems that hand opponents of the Affordable Care Act another rhetorical weapon, said Robert Blendon, a professor at Harvard University School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government.

“Any problem plays against the Democrats,” Blendon said.

Meanwhile, Republicans usually eager to criticize the Obama administration or states for implementation problems risk looking hypocritical by showcasing the Medicaid waits. Many oppose expanding the program to people with incomes as high as 138 percent of the federal poverty line, as the law allows states to do, and are loath to demand more efficient enrollment to achieve that goal.

“It’s a total contradiction in terms to spend your public time castigating Medicaid as something that never should have been expanded for poor people and as a broken, problem-riddled system, and then turn around and complain about the length of time to enroll people,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a member of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, which advises Congress.

Medicaid is a joint federal-state health program for the poor seen as a linchpin to expanding health coverage under the 2010 law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152).

Eligibility for the program is determined by federal and state guidelines, with the administration of the program left to the states. People enroll for Medicaid through federal or state websites or use other avenues, such as filing paper applications.

Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the government tried to help states anticipate the workload from the coverage expansion through steps such as weekly data releases showing how many residents appeared to qualify for Medicaid. He said the agency is busy transferring remaining data to those states equipped to process the information.

“CMS is actively transferring accounts to all states that are ready to receive them,” Albright said in an email. “In the meantime, every state not receiving transfers can be enrolling people through alternative options CMS has made available.”

Variety of Problems

Forty-one states as of May 29 responded to requests from CQ Roll Call about the number of pending Medicaid applications, the number of individuals covered in the applications and processing times. The remainder, including Missouri and New Mexico, didn’t respond to CQ Roll Call’s emails and phone calls for enrollment data.

The problems are most acute in three states – California, Illinois and North Carolina – where almost 1.5 million Medicaid applicants remain in limbo. Though all three are experiencing high volumes of enrollment, problems vary from California’s balky electronic sign-up system to Illinois’ inability to predict a surge of applications.

The waits are linked in part to the troubled rollout of the federal insurance website healthcare.gov last fall. Alaska, Kansas, Maine and Michigan still are unable to receive applications their residents completed through the federal website. Others such as Georgia received applications submitted last fall in May.

“These people were encouraged to seek help, and they didn’t get it,” Blendon said.

Beyond the individuals, the delays have left doctors, hospitals and other health providers unsure whether they will be reimbursed for care they provide to people who appear eligible for Medicaid but haven’t received benefit cards.

“It’s a huge systemic issue right now,” said Rosenbaum.

The delays are caused by a mix of technical problems and a surge of applications, especially in states that cajoled their residents to sign up for newly expanded benefits. More than 900,000 Californians are waiting for their benefit cards or denial letters, say state officials. In Illinois, another 330,000 people are in limbo. In North Carolina, it’s 285,884, plus another 12,956 applications that may include more than one person.

Norman Williams, a spokesman for the California Medicaid system, said the situation is “not something we are satisfied with.”

He said people still waiting for coverage decisions could go to local hospitals that can expedite their enrollments and, in many cases, provide temporary benefit cards.

“It’s not an easy situation for them,” he said. “We certainly understand that. That’s why we have this sense of urgency to get this done and get them into coverage.”

Retroactive Benefits

Supporters of the law note that Medicaid benefits are retroactive. If an eligible person received care while waiting to be enrolled, the program would pay for services dating back 90 days before the person applied, although some states make applicants specifically request retroactive coverage. But people with applications in the queue may not be aware of that requirement and have no guarantee that states will agree they qualify for Medicaid.

States are supposed to process Medicaid applications within 45 days. Several reported that they are largely meeting those guidelines. Some, including Colorado, Iowa and New York, significantly sped up processing this year.

Others expect federal exemptions for “unusual circumstances.” In Virginia, which first got a trickle of applications from healthcare.gov in late February, 45 percent of applications are past the 45-day limit.

Many states that relied on healthcare.gov to handle applications as well as states that built their own websites are wrestling with backlogs.

In the 36 states whose residents signed up through healthcare.gov, at least 1.4 million people faced delays because the website was unable for months to transmit the information to states. Once it did, states complained they weren’t receiving all of the applications and that data was incomplete or riddled with errors.

The logjams were so bad that officials asked applicants to re-apply directly through the states, where workers often sorted the information by hand. That created duplicate applications for as many as half of prospective Medicaid enrollees in Idaho and Louisiana. Other states disagreed with federal eligibility decisions: Indiana approved only 5 percent of the healthcare.gov applications, Texas approved 17 percent and North Carolina approved 19 percent.

States that ran their own websites, including California and Illinois, also experienced troubles. The new California computer system has technical glitches, including difficulty sending information to counties that help process applications. Because California had a massive campaign urging people to enroll, workers were swamped.

“It’s a very big deal because millions of people are waiting for health care, and these people can’t afford health care,” said Rosenbaum.

Cynthia Carmona, the director of government and external affairs at the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, said that the group has “been having a hard time getting good answers from the state.” She said that some people who applied in October still haven’t heard whether they are enrolled.

“We’re disappointed,” Carmona said. “We’re trying to give them room to fix the issue but this can’t go on forever. We need resolution.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story


The Moral Retardation of ObamaCare

Smitty at The Other McCain lays it our very well

Barack Obama will take many things; your life, your liberty, your pursuit of happiness: but he will never take responsibility. That’s on you:

Julie, her husband, and four children were covered by a medical plan they liked, and had been promised they could keep by President Obama. But like so many others in this country, her family’s private health care policy was cancelled because of the Affordable Care Act. So my sister and her family struggled through the expensive and incompetently designed Obamacare website to find a new policy. Unfortunately, while they waited for their new Obama-approved healthcare plan to finally kick in, my little sister fell ill. She couldn’t keep down solid food. She should have gone to a doctor. But she toughed it out, as many people do, until her new coverage would kick in on February 2. She and her husband didn’t have a lot of money, so she didn’t want to incur what she thought were avoidable medical expenses.

But she didn’t make it. It turns out that, unbeknownst to her, she wasn’t suffering from an upset stomach or food poisoning, but a badly blocked gall bladder that had become highly infected. Her body went into septic shock just two days before her Obamacare policy would have kicked in.

Just remember, it is for the “common good” Individuals? They only matter as long as they bow to, and aid, the Collective. When  they fail, they are, well expendable.

Survey: Obamacare Forcing 44% Of U.S. Firms To Consider Cutting Employees’ Health Care

Duke University: 44% Of U.S. Firms Consider Cutting Health Care To Current Workers – Washington Examiner


Adding to a devastating CBO report of how Obamacare could damage the economy, a Duke University survey of top companies found that 44 percent are considering reducing health benefits to current employees due to Obamacare, confirming the fears of millions of American workers.

In its December survey of chief financial officers around the country, Duke also found that nearly half are “reluctant to hire full-time employers because of the Affordable Care Act.”

And 40 percent are considering shifting to part-time workers and others will hire fewer workers of fire some to avoid the costs of the program.

What’s more, they said in the study, “One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.”

Without the law, the CFOs told Duke that they would hire more full-time workers.

The survey adds to the Congressional Budget Office’s study in raising new questions about the economic impact of Obamacare. Both give Republicans ammunition to continue their efforts to repeal the program that has upset how millions of Americans get health insurance. The survey was initially released in December and re-released Wednesday to provide context to the CBO report.

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business Professor Campbell R. Harvey said that the school’s survey shows that the economic hit the CBO warned of will be worse.

“Our survey shows that the situation is much more serious because employers tell us that they will choose not to hire and may lay people off,” he said. “I doubt the advocates of this legislation anticipated the negative impact on employment. The impact on the real economy is astonishing. Nearly one-third of firms may either terminate employees or hire fewer people in the future as a direct result of ACA.”

His colleague John Graham said in a statement promoting the survey, “An unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act will be a reduction in full-time employment growth in the United States. Companies plan to increase full-time employment by 1.4 percent in 2014, a rate of growth which is down from last quarter and unlikely to put a dent in the unemployment rate, assuming that the labor force participation rate remains constant. CFOs indicate that full-time employment growth would be stronger in the absence of the ACA.”

See the full survey here.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story


Remember, it is for the children

Everything the Left does, is “for the children”, just remember that as you read this from Matt

Back in 2009 and 2010, bloggers such as myself warned that ObamaCare would cause people to be turned down for care-it would be rationed to decrease costs.  We said that more claims would be denied under ObamaCare.  At that time, the democrats told everyone not to listen to us, because we were being paid by the insurance companies, or were crazy, or racists.  Well, it’s now 2014, and guess what? More care is being denied.  For what is sure to be the first of many stories of this type, here is more from The Western Center for Journalism…

Since the video will not load, here is a bit more info. As Matt notes, we, the “stupid Conservatives” told you this would happen

OK, here’s the twist; we’ve heard some very similar things before.  Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm’s brother, is a government adviser on health care.  Here are some quotes from Emanuel.

“Strict youngest-first allocation directs scarce resources predominantly to infants. This approach seems incorrect. The death of a 20-year-old woman is intuitively worse than that of a 2-month-old girl, even though the baby has had less life. The 20-year-old has a much more developed personality than the infant, and has drawn upon theinvestment of others to begin as-yet-unfulfilled projects…. Adolescents have received substantial substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments…. It is terrible when an infant dies, but worse, most people think, when a three-year-old child dies, and worse still when an adolescent does.”

Source:  First Things

As always with Leftist policies, it is the most vulnerable that pay first, because leftists “care”. And, again, when an ideology places the “Collective Good” above individual liberty, this is the result. Odd, Liberals mock Conservatives as “anti-science” and “anti-intellectual” yet Liberals consistently ignore history. History shows us where government-run health care leads, we have example after example. History shows where Marxism/Collectivism/Communism leads, yet the Left shut’s its eyes to history. Liberalism is truly an ideology for the stupid.

*VIDEOS* Bill Whittle IS Your Virtual President










*VIDEO* Bill Whittle Explains The Conservative, Free Market-Based Solutions To Our Health Care Problems


Thanks Barack… Ten States Where Obamacare Wipes Out Existing Health Care Plans

Ten States Where Obamacare Wipes Out Existing Health Care Plans – Daily Caller

President Barack Obama famously promised, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” He later got even more specific.

“If you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have,” Obama said.

But as Obamacare’s rollout approaches, we have learned this is not true. Here are the ten states where consumers may like their health care plans, but they won’t be able to keep them.


1) California: 58,000 will lose their plans under Obamacare. The first bomb dropped in California with a mass exodus from the most populated state’s Obamacare exchange. Aetna, the country’s largest insurer, left first in July and was closely followed by UnitedHealth. Anthem Blue Cross pulled out of California’s Obamacare exchange for small businesses as well.

Fifty-four percent of Californians expect to lose their coverage, according to an August poll.

2) Missouri: Patients of the state’s largest hospital system – which spans 13 hospitals including the St. Louis Children’s Hospital – will not be covered by the largest insurer on Obamacare exchanges, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield. Anthem covers 79,000 patients in Missouri who may seek subsidies on Obamacare exchanges, but won’t be able to see any doctors in the BJC HealthCare system.

3) Connecticut: Aetna, the third largest insurer in the nation, won’t offer insurance on the Obamacare exchange in its own home state, where it was founded in 1850. The reason? “We believe the modification to the rates filed by Aetna will not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans and meet the service expectations of our customers,” said Aetna spokesman Susan Millerick.

4) Maryland: 13,000 individuals covered by Aetna and its recently-purchased Coventry Health Care won’t be able to keep their insurance plans if they want Obamacare subsidies on the exchanges. Aetna and Coventry canceled plans to offer insurance in the exchange when state officials wouldn’t allow them to charge premiums high enough to cover costs.

5) South Carolina: 28,000 people were insured by Medical Mutual of Ohio, SC’s second-largest insurance company, until it decided to leave the state entirely in July due to Obamacare’s “vast and quite complex” new regulations. Company spokesman Ed Byers said Medical Mutual’s patients would be switched over to United Healthcare plans instead.

6) New York: Aetna pulled out of New York’s exchange in late August in an effort to keep their plans “financially viable,” said Aetna spokeswoman Cynthia Michener.

7) New Jersey: 1.1 million Aetna customers are at risk in New Jersey, where the leading insurer also won’t be a part of the exchange. Just 2,600 patients purchase individual plans with the company, but any looking to take advantage of subsidies on the exchange for unaffordable employer-based insurance won’t be able to do with Aetna.

8) Iowa: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Iowa’s largest health insurer, decided not to offer plans in the Obamacare exchange. It sells 86 percent of Iowa’s individual health insurance plans.

9) Wisconsin: Two of the three largest insurers in the state won’t offer plans on the exchange. United Healthcare and Humana patients will have to get a new health insurer to buy insurance on Obamacare exchanges.

10) Georgia: Just five insurers are participating in Georgia’s Obamacare exchange. Medical Mutual of Ohio left Georgia and Indiana as well as South Carolina, due to Obamacare regulations. Aetna, along with Coventry, also decided against participating in the George health exchange.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story


IRS Official In Charge During Tea Party Targeting Now Runs Health Care Office

IRS Official In Charge During Tea Party Targeting Now Runs Health Care Office – ABC News

The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.


Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.

Her successor, Joseph Grant, is taking the fall for misdeeds at the scandal-plagued unit between 2010 and 2012. During at least part of that time, Grant served as deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt unit.

Grant announced today that he would retire June 3, despite being appointed as commissioner of the tax-exempt office May 8, a week ago.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story


Follow the Liberal Logic here

Liberals care about the poor, the working class, the “little” guy. They care about kids. They care, which is why they want higher taxes on the “rich”. They care about Mother Nature, so they support higher gas prices. They care, so they demand more regulation, more taxation, more government. I had a guy tell me the other day that I should have voted for Obama, because he “cares” about poor people. Hmmm, if the Left cares so much, why do their policies always impact those they “care” so much about? You know, like millions LOSING their employer insurance because of Obamacare? Or the spike in health care premiums because of Obamacare? Or the fact that those with pre-existing conditions might not be helped by Obamacare? Or paying almost $1,000 a year more for gas?

You can expect Obamacre to be a lot like Obamanomics

That is to say, you can expect it to be worse than anyone ever expected. Moonbattery has the bleak preview. All your medical records belong to us now

Britain gives us another preview of life in a country where government has seized control of the healthcare sector:

GPs [general practitioners] are to be forced to hand over confidential records on all their patients’ drinking habits, waist sizes and illnesses.

The files will be stored in a giant information bank that privacy campaigners say represents the ‘biggest data grab in NHS history’.

They warned the move would end patient confidentiality and hand personal information to third parties.

The data includes weight, cholesterol levels, body mass index, pulse rate, family health history, alcohol consumption and smoking status.

Healthcare is a limited commodity. If it is not to be allocated by price in the free market, but rather be provided by the government, it must be rationed. Knowing who has been smoking, drinking, eating too much, et cetera will be helpful to bureauweenies in deciding who gets healthcare and who does not.

GPs will be required to send monthly updates on their patients to a central database run by the NHS’s Health and Social Care Information Centre.

I am sure many are shaking their heads reading this. They are likely saying “here he goes again with that death panel stuff.” Well, sorry, but that is reality folks. At some point, it will come down to that, and the bigger the government role the more likely it will be a government decision who gets what care. Of course, many folks only hear one word when universal health care is discussed. That word is “free”. Boy, how surprised are they going to be one day when they realize the cost of that ” free” health care.

Update! The Other McCain has some thoughts on the unexpected cost of the greatest lie ever

Everything Democrats say is a lie. Remember what they promisedObamaCare would do, now that we see what it actually does:

Remember when they said it would actually save money for the federal government? Remember when they said nobody would lose their current insurance? Lies, lies, all lies. The Democratic Party is so deliberately dishonest that no decent person would ever vote for any Democrat.

How true, the Democratic Party has devolved into the Lying Party. I often ask how anyone can support an ideology that requires complete dishonesty. Seriously, if you are still a Democrat, then you either like being lied to, enjoy living in complete ignorance, or support the Neo-Marxist direction of the Democrats. So, which is it?

Your Marxist Moron of the Day is…..

Comes to us Via Newsbusters

Eduardo Porter’s “Economic Scene” column for Wednesday’s New York Times Business Day was similarly titled: “Health Care And Profits, A Poor Mix.”

Porter, who previously covered economics as a reporter for the paper, showed his mistrust of the market to provide vital services like adequate health care and pensions, advancing his left-wing argument via a narrow 30-year-old study.

Thirty years ago, Bonnie Svarstad and Chester Bond of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison discovered an interesting pattern in the use of sedatives at nursing homes in the south of the state.

Patients entering church-affiliated nonprofit homes were prescribed drugs roughly as often as those entering profit-making “proprietary” institutions. But patients in proprietary homes received, on average, more than four times the dose of patients at nonprofits.

Writing about his colleagues’ research in his 1988 book “The Nonprofit Economy,” the economist Burton Weisbrod provided a straightforward explanation: “differences in the pursuit of profit.” Sedatives are cheap, Mr. Weisbrod noted. “Less expensive than, say, giving special attention to more active patients who need to be kept busy.”

This behavior was hardly surprising. Hospitals run for profit are also less likely than nonprofit and government-run institutions to offer services like home health care and psychiatric emergency care, which are not as profitable as open-heart surgery.


These profit-maximizing tactics point to a troubling conflict of interest that goes beyond the private delivery of health care. They raise a broader, more important question: How much should we rely on the private sector to satisfy broad social needs?

Go read the rest, but the main point here, to me is that Porter has no understanding of free markets, or reality. Let me explain Mr. Porter. If those insurance companies did not make any profit, they would go OUT OF BUSINESS! Then, they could insure NO ONE! How would that help sir? Of course, if we had YOUR Utopian version of health care. The government would run health care, and then when they run out of money, who could get health care? How about all the medicines that help Americans Mr. Porter? Guess what THOSE drug companies have to make profits too. See without making MORE money than they spend, companies do not prosper. They go belly up, and who does that help again Mr. Porter? 


Obamacare is already strangling small medical practices

The creeping illness of Socialism is beginning to take effect, and, as always, it is the  people, and small businesses that get it hardest, and first! The Lonely Conservative has more

Obamacare hasn’t yet been fully implemented but it’s already driving up the cost of health care and killing small medical practices. At the same time, it’s helping big hospitals become even bigger.

Thomas Lewandowski, a Wisconsin heart doctor, was faced with a dilemma after his Medicare payments were cut and his overhead costs soared: Fire half his staff to keep his practice open, or sell it to a local hospital.

He decided to sell, becoming one of more than 6,000 employees at Thedacare, which runs five hospitals and numerous clinics in northeast Wisconsin. It’s a decision being made increasingly in the U.S., creating a new dynamic that threatens to raise the price of health care, even as the federal government and states strain to keep a lid on costs.

Under Medicare’s tangled payment system, hospitals get higher reimbursements than individual doctors for cardiology treatment, as they do for other specialty services, in some cases as much as three times more. At the same time, the added bargaining power gained by controlling more of the heart care in a geographic market has given large hospital systems added leverage in negotiating reimbursements from insurers, such as UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) and WellPoint Inc. (WLP)

One cardiologist said the people who concocted these payments schemes need to have their heads examined. He also said his previous plan to work well into his retirement years has been scrapped.

For cardiologists, the move to hospitals has good and bad aspects, according to Lewandowski, the Wisconsin heart doctor who sold his practice in 2010. While they may gain more stable incomes, doctors often have less freedom over how they care for their patients under strict hospital protocols. Some doctors are also under pressure to see more patients each day when they are employed by a hospital, he said.

“I miss being in private practice and being my own boss,” said Alexander, the Illinois cardiologist. “I would have said 30 years ago that I planned on dying with my boots on, and practicing until I couldn’t practice anymore.

‘‘Now, do I look forward to retirement?’’ he asked. ‘‘Yes. Do I plan on working forever? No.’’

Go read it all. As I noted, it is the very people Socialists claim to be helping that are crushed first. The small businesses go under the wheels too of course. The LOnely Conservative links Timothy Carney, who explains how this works

This is standard. Dodd-Frank looks like it is making big banks bigger. Toy-safety regulation has accrued to the benefit of the big toymakers while killing Mom n Pop competitors. Wal-Mart’s support for theemployer mandate in health insurance and a higher minimum wage weren’t philanthropy. There’s a reason Philip Morris supported FDA regulation of tobacco and smaller cigarette companies called it the “Marlboro Monopoly Act.”

Again, here we go, down the road that Socialism paves. The Road that leads to broken promises, human suffering, and greatly diminished liberty, and choice? Soon that will be gone too. Unless you call being herded into one massive hospital, or another massive hospital. And, of course, the poor will be hardest hit there too, once the IRS starts enforcing that mandate that we MUST buy health care. So, they will be the first to be herded won’t they? And, as more and more of us join them, the system will go broke, and then what?

So, how much is a human life worth under Obamacare?

Well, if that life is still in the womb, it is worth, it would seem, $1. Chris Wysocki is rightfully infuriated by this

Let’s be clear about something.

Abortion is not “health care”. Two lives go in, only one comes out.

Most of the time we call that murder.

Alas, the Obama administration is determined to ensure that every woman has the unfettered ability to cleanse her womb of wayward cells, at any time, for any reason. Or for no reason. Even if those cells happen to bear a striking resemblance to a living, breathing, bouncing baby. It’s her right.

And, to guarantee that the extermination of inconvenient children is truly “free” for the asking, starting in 2014 you’ll see a surcharge built in to every American’s health insurance premium.

One dollar per month. No exceptions. No exemptions.

The Department of Health and Human Services has finalized the policies governing state health care exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and with it the rules governing abortion coverage under the new law.

Life News reports that “the concern pro-life organizations had about the ObamaCare legislation funding abortions has been confirmed.”

Indeed pro-lifers have long known that the health care law, specifically Section 1303, would require enrollees in the health care exchanges to pay a separate monthly surcharge for abortion coverage.

With the final HHS rules set in stone, the surcharge is a dollar.

Now, I know that many liberals will scoff at such language. Indeed, they will mock my saying that any human life is worth merely a dollar under Obamacare. These Liberals really should think though. If government begins putting price tags on our lives, at any stage, where will that end? So, when it comes down to rationing care, how much IS your life worth? Do you REALLY trust government to make that call?