Monday, July 27, 2009

 

Michelle Obama's Patient-Dumping Scandal

Michelle Obama instituted the Orwellian "Urban Health Initiative", a patient-dumping scheme at the University of Chicago Medical Center by which poor people seeking medical relief were redirected to community hospitals to keep resources open for moneyed patients. The goal: maximize UCMC's profits.

Not good. And as it happens, not legal.

In fact, it's considered very bad.

Here's a preliminary reference list:
The American Thinker: Michelle Obama's Patient-Dumping Scheme

...no amount of journalistic lipstick can hide the reality that Mrs. Obama's initiative is a patient-dumping scheme. Such "cherry-picking," as Dr. Jouriles accurately describes it, was, at one time, fairly common. Prestigious institutions like the University of Chicago Medical Center routinely "dumped" Medicaid, uninsured and other unprofitable patients on less mercenary community hospitals. Many patients suffered needlessly, and more than a few actually died, as the result of this practice. So, in 1986, President Reagan signed the Emergency Medical Labor and Treatment Act (EMTALA) into law. EMTALA made such "redirection" illegal, but many high profile hospitals still chafed at being forced to treat poor patients. Enter Michelle Obama, UCMC's "Vice President for Community and External Affairs."

Mrs. Obama first hatched the UCMC program as the "South Side Health Collaborative," which featured a gang of "counselors" whose job it was to "advise" low-income patients that they would be better off at other hospitals and clinics. The program was so successful in getting rid of unwanted patients that she expanded it, gave it a new name, and hired none other than David Axelrod to sell the program to the public. According to the Sun-Times, "Obama's wife and Valerie Jarrett, an Obama friend and adviser who chairs the medical center's board, backed the Axelrod firm's hiring." Axelrod helped the future First Lady formulate a public relations campaign in which the "Urban Health Initiative" was represented as a boon to the community actuated by the purest of altruistic motives.

The resultant PR campaign was a study in Orwellian audacity. Chicago's inner city residents soon began hearing that UCMC's patient dumping program would "dramatically improve health care for thousands of South Side residents" and that the medical center was generously willing to provide "a ride on a shuttle bus to other centers." Likewise, the people who ran the community hospitals to which these unwanted patients were being shuttled began to read claims in local media to the effect that the Urban Health Initiative was good for them as well. Dr. Eric Whitaker, the Blagojevich crony who succeeded Mrs. Obama as Director of the program, repeatedly assured gullible reporters that the financial impact on these hospitals would be positive: "The initiative actually is improving their bottom lines." The CFOs of those hospitals were no doubt relieved to learn that treating Medicaid and uninsured patients is profitable.
The American Spectator: Michelle's Dumping Designs


It wasn't just Obama's wife who was involved in creating the program. Senior White House adviser and political strategist, David Axelrod, and his PR firm in Chicago were retained to develop a media campaign to encourage area residents not to use University of Chicago as a medical facility. Senior White House official, and Obama friend, Valerie Jarrett served on the board of directors of the hospital and approved the plan for the Urban Health Initiative, and the hiring of Axelrod. And on the recommendation of then Senator Obama, Dr. Eric Whitaker, was named director of the Initiative in late 2007, after serving as the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, a job he got after Obama recommended him to then Gov. Rod Blagojevich via another Obama crony, Tony Rezko, a fund-raiser for Obama and now a convicted felon on federal corruption charges.
Michelle Malkin: Michelle Vs. Michelle


Word from the American Spectator is that Republicans on the Hill are taking a renewed interest in the role Mrs. O and her Chicago crony friends (Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Susan Sher) played in the University of Chicago Medical Center dumping scheme — which I reported on here, David Catron exposed here, and Sean Hannity’s TV show hammered here.

The truth is getting out there.
Sean Hannity reported this:



Hey now.

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