Betsy McCaughey: For seniors, an Obamacare gimmick costly in cash and health
Nationwide, readmissions are dropping because Section 3025 of Obamacare punishes hospitals if a senior returns within 30 days.
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 had 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.
Penalizing readmissions, which started in 2013, is one of the law’s tricks to reduce Medicare spending, never mind the impact on seniors. Cuts in future Medicare spending pay for more than half the law’s cost — robbing Grandma to fund health-care coverage for other groups.
Betsy McCaughey is former lieutenant governor of New York and author of Beating Obamacare: 2014. Her website is www.BetsyMcCaughey.com.
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