December 7, 2017

IF THE OBAMACARE MANDATE REPEAL WILL KILL PEOPLE, HOW COME DEATH RATES WENT UP UNDER OBAMACARE?

The increased mortality associated with the Affordable Care Act’s poorly conceived penalty for readmissions is unsurprising to those of us who care for patients. Despite their intent to target avoidable readmissions, the penalties don’t involve a detailed assessment of which readmissions were truly avoidable. In addition to the reasons listed by the Journal, another cause of mortality is prolonged hospital stay as doctors keep patients “just one more day” to be sure they are less likely to “bounce back” to the hospital.

Unfortunately, staying in the hospital longer than needed puts the patient at risk for catching drug-resistant germs, and as doctors seek to justify watching the patient one more day, they subject the patient to additional procedures that are of marginal usefulness but which carry incremental risk of harm. Too often government policy is enacted when bureaucrats ask “what could go wrong?” as a rhetorical question rather than as a serious question.

Ouch.