Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012

Obamacare Fines Start for Hospitals that Readmit Sick People
by Tony Lee
October 7, 2012

Hospitals who re-admit patients within 30 days after they were discharged will now have to, under an Obamacare provision, pay fines as of October 1, 2012, which could force hospitals to slash programs that help the elderly, the poor, and the chronically ill.

According to a study, "about two-thirds of the hospitals serving Medicare patients, or some 2,200 facilities, will be hit with penalties averaging around $125,000 per facility this coming year."
This provision was inserted into Obamacare as a cost-cutting measure, but it will force hospitals to give the poor, elderly, and chronically ill substandard care.

In addition, critics also note that "large teaching hospitals that are affiliated with universities" could be negatively impacted the most because these hospitals are often on the front lines in dealing with the elderly and the poor in addition to people who have mysterious illnesses who constantly need to be re-admitted to the hospital for urgent care.

As the Examiner notes:
Some observers believe that the new provision will place an enormous amount of added pressure on these populations, given that patients cannot be certain that their treatment will be up to par in the event of the need for readmission to the hospital after discharge. And hospitals that are already feeling the squeeze financially due to cutbacks in reimbursements from the government may be forced to limit the level of care given during readmission, resulting in patients being discharged long before they are ready.
This is yet another reason why a plurality of Americans want Obamacare to be repealed before it it is too late, as more of such provisions will gradually be implemented.

Read more:

Bombshell: Obama Administration Withdrew 16 Member Special Forces Team From Libya One Month Before Attack
by Jim Hoft
October 7, 2012

Bombshell: The Obama State Department withdrew a 16 member special forces team from Benghazi one month before the deadly attacks on 9-11. Lt. Col. Andy Wood was the leader of the 16 member special forces team whose job it was to protect US personnel in Libya. His team’s mission ended in August a month before the deadly Al-Qaeda attack on 9-11. A six member mobile security team was also withdrawn around the same time. This was despite the fact that there were over a dozen attacks in the country this year. Lt. Col. Wood was subpoenaed to appear at a House committee hearing this coming week. Wood told CBS News it was unbelievable to him that the State Department withdrew security when they did because of the 13 security incidents before 9-11.
Read more:

RFID Chips for Texas Students
by Jazz Shaw
October 7, 2012

Is this a story of the nanny state gone (further) awry, a community ensuring the safety of at risk children, or just a group of bureaucrats trying to glam onto some extra cash? The San Antonio Times brings us the story of a school district which will begin “tracking” students in middle and high school using RFID chips. What could possibly go wrong?
Northside Independent School District plans to track students next year on two of its campuses using technology implanted in their student identification cards in a trial that could eventually include all 112 of its schools and all of its nearly 100,000 students… 
Northside, the largest school district in Bexar County, plans to modify the ID cards next year for all students attending John Jay High School, Anson Jones Middle School and all special education students who ride district buses. That will add up to about 6,290 students.
Sounds positively Orwellian, doesn’t it? In fact, that’s precisely one of the words which Lee DeCovnick uses at The American Thinker to describe this new intrusion into American privacy.
Farmers currently use chips to track cattle and hogs. RFID is also commonly used for tracking store retail inventories and monitoring vehicle access to gated properties. Now that we have the technology, we’re “chipping” our children for money and their supposed safety? Orwell and Huxley must be outraged that their warnings have gone so unheeded.
DeCovnick is additionally concerned because these aren’t the old school, passive RFID tags which have to be pulsed by a transmitter to give up their data. These newer models have batteries installed and actually transmit data which could, in theory, be picked up by strangers, predators, etc. It’s a valid point. But if they are closely monitoring who has access to the data and they’re going to be tracking the kids only to make sure that evil persons don’t carry them away, then…

Oh, wait.
District officials said the Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) tags would improve safety by allowing them to locate students — and count them more accurately at the beginning of the school day to help offset cuts in state funding, which is partly based on attendance.
Okay… so they’re installing the system to qualify for a system whereby – if they can show how many students are showing up for school and how many are riding the bus – the district will take in a big additional chunk of state funds. (Far more than the cost of implementing and running the not inexpensive tracking system.) But as long as they’re improving safety by monitoring the movements of the children and could follow the perps if they are abducted too, then at least some good will still…

Oh wait. Again.
Chip readers on campuses and on school buses can detect a student’s location but can’t track them once they leave school property. Only authorized administrative officials will have access to the information, Gonzalez said. 
“This way we can see if a student is at the nurse’s office or elsewhere on campus, when they normally are counted for attendance in first period,” he said.
On the one hand, I’m not sure how much of a privacy issue I want to make of this if and only if the parents approve and find some value in it. Their decisions about the safety of their children override the concerns of the students in a case like this. But I’m also not sure how much extra safety they are getting out of the deal in exchange for the potential anxiety being induced.

Read more:

SNL Spoofs MSNBC’s Reaction to the Debate
by Madeleine Morgenstern
October 7, 2012

Saturday Night Live skewered MSNBC’s reaction to President Barack Obama‘s disappointing debate performance with skit full of MSNBC’s biggest names: Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Chris Matthews — and TheBlaze’s S.E. Cupp.

Deconstructing the debate disaster — or as Maddow put it, “the worst thing that ever happened anywhere” — Sharpton was ready with a litany of whacky excuses, starting with “altitude poisoning.”

“See, Denver, Colorado is a mile high,” he said. “There’s no way to know for sure how many feet that is, but it could be upwards of a million. Obama’s from Hawaii which is a mile below the earth. So for him speaking in Colorado is is like being flung two miles into the air and then having to give a speech in outer space.”

Chris Matthews, who said he’d “never been so disgusted in my life,” wondered why Obama had to let Mitt Romney talk at all.

“He forgot the first rule of debating: always be interrupting,” Matthews said. “When I don’t have points to make on my show, I make up one by screaming at people. That’s how you win a debate.”

For her part, Cupp said she didn’t have anything to add — “I’m happy to just listen and smile. I believe the term is gloating?”

Cupp (the real one) tweeted after the skit, “Well that was…surreal.”

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