SAVING LIVES AND MONEY
Four brave Americans died at Benghazi. Seven Congressional investigations later, Republicans have concluded* that no one in the Administration is to blame — so an eighth investigation is now underway.
Less well known to the viewers of FOX News are the 50,000 lives — and $12 billion — saved at least in part because of Obamacare (aka Romneycare) . . . even as Republicans were voting 52 times to repeal it:
Dec 2 (Reuters) – About 50,000 people are alive today because U.S. hospitals committed 17 percent fewer medical errors in 2013 than in 2010, government health officials said on Tuesday.
The lower rate of fatalities from poor care and mistakes was one of several “historic improvements” in hospital quality and safety measured by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. They included a 9 percent decline in the rate of hospital-acquired conditions such as infections, bedsores and pneumonia from 2012 to 2013. . . .
Hospitals have made a concerted effort to improve safety, spurred in large part by changes in how Medicare pays them. President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law requires CMS to reduce the reimbursement rate for hospitals that re-admit too many patients within 30 days, an indication of poor care the first time.
As a result of the improvements in hospital safety, 1.3 million fewer patients suffered a hospital-acquired condition in 2013 than if the 2010 rate had remained steady, CMS Deputy Administrator Dr. Patrick Conway told reporters. That produced savings of some $12 billion from avoidable costs . . .
“This is welcome news for patients and their families,” Conway said, and represents an “unprecedented decline in patient harm in this country.”
☞ Saves lives, saves money, avoids more than 1 million cases of harm short of death, has cut the ranks of the uninsured by about 25% in just the first year — is it possible the Affordable Care Act (Romneycare) is actually a good thing?
How much longer will Republicans work to demonize it as they demonized Medicare and Social Security?
How much longer will they fight a higher minimum wage and universal background checks? How much longer will they block repair of our crumbling infrastructure? Passage of the Senate’s bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill? The refinancing of federal student loans at today’s lower rates (just as one would refinance a mortgage)? How much harder will they try to make it for young and low-income people and minorities to register and to vote?
AND THIS JUST IN: In the wake of the Administration’s handling of the Ebola pandemic — all FOX could talk about in the weeks before the election — the death toll among American citizens seems finally to have plateaued at . . . still zero.
SAVING ON SMOKES
Chuck McLean: “In addition making me a little money over the years, you have cajoled me into doing good things that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise (sending money to the Dems, etc.). I just wanted you to know that I have just donated the amount of money that I saved during my first month of not smoking (an event prompted in large part by your mention of Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Stop Smoking) to Carry the Light to the World. (I also want to plug the free app QuitIt that has been a great encouragement during this period of quitting.) Keep cajoling!”
☞ As if I could ever restrain myself.
*WASHINGTON (AP) — A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.
Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue . . .
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people. . . .