She's baaaack. Our favorite tobacco lobbyist and servant of the agents of death called health insurers is back to scare everyone with the tired old trope that death panels lurk around every corner.
April 14, 2013

[h/t Heather at VideoCafe]

Obamacare is nearly upon us, kids. That means the PR firms for insurers are revving their engines and laying the foundation for the next big tea party riot at town hall meetings. We will have them shaking their fists at everything from Obamacare to education reform to gun laws.

Chaos is what they intend to make, and they're out of the gate with Ms. Disgraced Tobacco Lobbyist Betsy McCaughey, who should be jeered off any stage she's on instead of glorified by the likes of Mike Huckabee.

It's almost predictable now. A quick Google search shows Fox News let her out of her cell in August, 2009, again in December, 2010, and again in November, 2011. Even though by 2012 Obamacare's provisions were popular enough that it was an asset and not a liability in Obama's re-election, they're dragging her out again.

But now we're six months away from signing up for the exchanges, and we're eight months or so away from an end to pre-existing conditions. The monsters are hungry, clawing at the bars, so they let her out again to go at it on Huckabee for the entire show. Because I'm merciful (and so is Heather), we're just bringing you the best of the best.

To warm the audience up, they started with a little dose of IPAB, the panel that will actually work to contain costs, which they like to call a "death panel." Personally, I think there should be one panel for...never mind.

The heart of today's episode is "Oh noes, all the doctors are gone!!!! Dead seniors will be everywhere!" Added bonus: Spending more money automatically means better care. (insert audience groan here)

MCCAUGHEY: I wouldn't take my beloved dog to the vet that spends the least per animal, but I'm supposed to take my mother to the hospital that spends the least per senior. We have a lot of evidence that the hospitals that are the lowest spenders have higher death rates. For example, if you're a senior and you've had a heart attack, you have a less chance of making it home after that heart attack if you're in one of those lowest spending hospitals.

Yawn. YES. OH God, yes, please let's spend 20 percent of GDP on seniors' health care. Because better!

And then we get to the "ZOMG they're gonna keep you. Or not. Or release you early. Or not." Ultimately it's just a conversation indicating a consultation with a psychiatrist might be in order.

BLACKBURN: And that readmission policy will penalize the hospital if within thirty days you're readmitted and so the hospitals are going to be a little bit more judicious in how they approach that. But it all boils...

MCCAUGHEY: I think you used a misleading phrase though. It's recklessly denying care, because when you reward the hospitals that spend the least per senior, right, that means hospitals are not going to want to do the expensive procedures like a hip replacement or a knee replacement.

And the way they count this includes the thirty days after the patient is discharged, so hospitals are not going to want to prescribe that rehab you need after your knee surgery, or even that return trip to the cardiologist.

Betsy, you ignorant slut. Rehab services are not hospitalization services. They're rehab and even when they're done at a hospital people aren't admitted for it.

Holy God, someone please hand them a stick of reality?

Later in the show but not in this clip they start pimping Health Savings Accounts, which of course makes tons of sense because people have so much extra money to put into those HSAs which are limited by law to something that doesn't even cover prescription deductibles, much less hip replacements.

It must really drive insurers crazy to know that most employers will be keeping their employees' health insurance, that young adults age 19-26 are receiving needed, critical health care services, and Medicare spending has dropped by $500 billion without elderly folks dropping dead right and left all over the place. Why else would they drag out the same old dead, buried, withered, and dusty arguments over and over again?

Wake up, Fox News. Wake up, health insurers. Wake up Tea Party. Obamacare is here. And it's not going anywhere. Get over it.

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