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Monday, March 22, 2010

Death Panels in the Bill

Were you happy that the death panels, at least, didn't make it into the Chicago Butcher's law? Well, think again. They're in there - you just have to realize how neatly it was done:

13. If you are a physician owner and you want to expand your hospital? Well, you can’t (Section 6001 (i) (1) (B). Unless, it is located in a county where, over the last five years, population growth has been 150% of what it has been in the state (Section 6601 (i) (3) ( E)). And then you cannot increase your capacity by more than 200% (Section 6001 (i) (3) (C)).
There it is.

How does that equate to a death panel, you ask?

Simple - think about how the Baby Boomer generation is aging out, where they are aging out, and how the demographics of population growth works.

Old people don't have kids. In fact, Americans overall are barely having two children per family on average. The only places which will see 150% population growth will be areas with high illegal immigration levels.

Geographic areas with large numbers of aging Baby Boomers aren't going to have high population growth, except through immigration. And older people tend not to move hundreds or thousands of miles. They like to stay in their circle of friends, in neighborhoods they are familiar with. They tend to lack the financial means to move. When they do move, they tend to move to where other older Americans already reside.

So, population growth in areas with high numbers of Baby Boomers is simply not going to happen. Now, it is true that Florida appears to be an exception to these rules, but keep in mind that Florida gains population growth only by drawing on an entire nation's worth of the wealthiest of older Americans.

Result? Essentially, no hospital expansions will be possible in any area which has a large number of older people. As the number of aged people in an area increase, the institutions to care for them won't be permitted to increase.

If you don't live in an area with high illegal immigration, you won't have any hospital expansion, even though your aging population requires it. According to the law, as the aged population increases, the relative number of hospital beds will shrink.

But it gets better:
15. The government will extract a fee of $2.3 billion annually from the pharmaceutical industry. If you are a pharmaceutical company what you will pay depends on the ratio of the number of brand-name drugs you sell to the total number of brand-name drugs sold in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the brand-name drugs in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2.3 billion, or $230,000,000. (Under reconciliation, it starts at $2.55 billion, jumps to $3 billion in 2012, then to $3.5 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018, before settling at $2.8 billion in 2019 (Section 1404)). Think you, as a pharmaceutical executive, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 9008 (b)).
16. The government will extract a fee of $2 billion annually from medical device makers. If you are a medical device maker what you will pay depends on your share of medical device sales in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the medical devices in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2 billion, or $200,000,000. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for R&D? Tough. (Section 9009 (b)).
See? The cost of producing drugs and medical devices will rise in order to pay these taxes, but the hospitals won't be able to expand their size to help cushion and cover the cost increases. So, smaller hospitals with proportionately higher drug and medical device cost per patient will be forced out of business.

And, according to the law, no one will be able to replace those missing hospital beds.
They're gone.

So, not only will the relative number of hospital beds not increase, the absolute number of hospital beds will decrease.

Precisely as the population in an area ages out, the facilities to care for them will disappear.

Islam stops Christian conversion in part by forbidding the construction of new churches or the maintenance of existing churches.

Barack Hussein Obama has taken a page from sharia law and applied it to the Baby Boomers. Wherever they live in large (and growing) numbers, the availability of hospital beds to care for them will shrink.

As the American population ages out, hospitals will become proportionally too small to care for the available hospital-needy population. This will hit small states, like Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, etc., the hardest, since their states are so small that geographic variations between county and state are very unlikely to have any cushioning effect.

Butcher Barack knows his business. You have to admit, his solution is possibly the neatest solution to killing old people that could have been developed.

And now it's the law.
Wave goodbye to the nice grandparents!

May 2015 UPDATE
Well, it's 2015 and everything is working according to plan.


Brendan said...

The first of many hidden nightmares in this to come I am sure.
I wonder what can be done.

Jordanes said...

The provision you cite is bad enough, but it should be kept in mind that it applies not to all hospitals, but only to physician-owned hospitals.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Rural community hospitals tend to be physician-owned.

Obama's political enemies are in rural areas.

He's killing his enemies. Nice work if you can get it.