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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 21, 2014 / 21 Iyar, 5774

Obamacare's Dangers for Seniors

By Betsy McCaughey




JewishWorldReview.com | On May 7, the Obama administration boasted that Obamacare was improving health care quality for seniors, pulling out a bag of statistical tricks to prove it. But a closer look shows that they're not improving care. They're skimping on it, socking seniors with unexpected bills for "observation care" and likely shortening their lives.

President Barack Obama's Health and Human Services Department announced that fewer seniors discharged from the hospital are returning for additional care within a month's time. HHS claims that this drop in "readmissions," from 18.5 percent in 2012 to 17.5 percent in 2013, signals quality improvement. Nonsense. The 50 best hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals annual rankings, have above-average readmission rates.

Nationwide, readmissions rates are dropping because Section 3025 of Obamacare punishes hospitals if a senior returns within 30 days.

What happens to the senior treated for a heart attack who rushes back to the hospital a week later feeling faint, possibly because of arrhythmia? To dodge the penalty, hospitals put the patient under "observation." It's just a word on the chart. The patient may get the same tests and be put in the same room as if he'd been admitted. But unless he stays at least two nights, the hospital won't bill Medicare for a stay, and the patient gets clobbered with the cost. Many seniors don't even know they were under observation until they get the bill.

So much for HHS boasting about the drop in readmissions. HHS officials fail to mention that it coincides with a rise in elderly patients placed under "observation status." It's a hospital billing trick, and a dirty one for seniors.

It's true some readmissions are unnecessary and can be avoided if patients follow up with their doctors and take their meds after leaving the hospital. Low-income patients are less likely to do that, and hospitals caring for the poor are getting whacked hardest by Obamacare's readmission penalty.

Penalizing readmissions is one of the law's ploys to reduce Medicare spending, never mind the impact on seniors. Cuts in future Medicare spending pay for over half the law, robbing Grandma to fund health coverage for other groups.



The Obama administration plans to expand the readmissions penalties in 2015 to apply to many more conditions. It's no wonder medical experts are protesting.

Dr. Ashish Jha, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, says it's bogus to equate declining readmissions with quality. Many top academic hospitals have high readmission rates because their patients have serious illnesses and complications needing repeated stays. Jha says the gold standard for measuring a hospital's quality is how many patients survive a specific disease, such as pneumonia or congestive heart failure. That's the measure U.S. News & World Report uses.

Dr. Bruce Lytie, chairman of the Cleveland Clinic's heart and vascular programs, also warns not to trust claims that lower readmissions signal quality. His research indicated that often hospitals with high readmissions rates do the best job of saving patients' lives.

Don't trust Obamacare's definition of "value," either. Everyone wants value, but Obamacare defines it in a way that produces the opposite: dangerously skimpy care for seniors. Section 3001 sets up a bonus system to reward hospitals for "value." Bravo for rewarding hospitals that prevent infections. But the lion's share of bonus points go to hospitals that spend the least per senior.

That cost-cutting will shorten lives. Evidence from 208 California hospitals shows that Medicare patients treated in the lowest-spending hospitals had a worse chance of surviving their illness and going home than patients with the same diagnosis treated at higher-spending hospitals. The research, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and RAND, found that heart attack patients were 19 percent more likely to die at low-spending hospitals. Who would want those odds?

Over a four-year period, 13,613 seniors who died from pneumonia, stroke, heart attacks and other common conditions at California's low-spending hospitals would have recovered and gone home had they received more care. And that's just in one state.

Ignoring this evidence, Obamacare incentivizes hospitals in all 50 states to imitate low-spending hospitals that are deadly for seniors. That's some definition of value.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and the author of "Beating Obamacare." She reads the law so you don't have to.


Betsy McCaughey Archives


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