American Elephants


Electronic Medical Records: Not Cost Effective, Not Efficient. by The Elephant's Child

I had a routine Doctor’s appointment his week. My doctor had left her old group and is now with a new group. Same town, same hospital. I told her that she looked a lot happier. She agreed that she was. She said they were shortly going to digitize all their records as required by ObamaCare. She added that it was just a mess. There is so much opportunity for error. She said that some of the records she receives, she can hardly read. Having accurate records is essential.

Buried in the stimulus law of 2009, was an electronic-medical-records “incentive” program.Michelle Malkin reports that :

Oversight is lax. Cronyism is rife. The job-killing and privacy-undermining consequences have only just begun. The program was originally sold as a cost-saving measure. In theory, modernizing record-collection is a good idea, and many private health-care provides have already made the change. But as with many government “incentive” programs, the EMR bribe is a tax-subsidized, one-size-fits-all mandate. … Penalties kick in for any provider that hasn’t switched over by 2014.

…$4 billion has already gone out to 82,535 professionals and 1,474 hospitals and a total of $6 billion will be doled out by 2016. But the feds’ reckless profligacy, neglect and favoritism have done more harm than good.

A recent report by the HHS Inspector General said essentially that no one is actually checking to see if the transition from paper to electronic is improving patient outcomes or health services. The claim that the EMR conversion would reduce paperwork was based on hope rather than evidence, and many doctors say that it is actually doubling the amount of paperwork in their practices. Malkin again:

Billionaire Judith Faulkner, Obama’s medical information czar and a major Democratic contributor, just happens to be the founder and CEO of Epic Systems — a medical-software company that stores nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population’s health data. Another billion-dollar patient-record database grant program has doled out money to the University of Chicago Medical Center (where first lady Michelle Obama and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett both served in high-paid positions).

It seems the cost-savings predictions were grossly overstated. Epic Systems, Faulkner’s company is famed for its lack of interoperability. antiquated, hard-drive dependent software firms that refuse to share data with doctors or hospitals using alternate platforms. And what is a company like Faulkner’s doing with this enhance power to consolidate and control American’s private health information. Epic and other large firms spent hundreds of thousands lobbying for the Obama EMR giveaway. It seems not to be a coincidence that Epic’s sales have been skyrocketing in recent years, double what they were four years ago. Obama named billionaire Democratic donor Faulkner as the only industry representative on the federal panel overseeing the EMR $19 billion “incentives” program from which her company benefits. Crony-capitalism indeed.

Now the person who supervised the IRS political pursuit of anyone who might potentially donate to the election campaign of the President’s opponent has been moved from that section to being in charge of the IRS grab for every American citizen’s medical records. This is unprecedented and disturbing. If the IRS is an agency that cannot be trusted with our private financial information, uses their power to force you to reveal information to which they have no legal or ethical right, then we are all expected to hand over all our private medical history and current treatment for whatever they want to use it for.  Are you going to go for that?



Remarks by the President at the U.S. Naval Academy Commencement by The Elephant's Child

And then, with a straight face, this president actually says to the Academy graduates….

“Live with integrity and speak with honesty and take responsibility and demand accountability.” — Obama’s speech to U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2013

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
United States Naval Academy
Annapolis, Maryland

Gerard Vanderleun posted this yesterday at American Digest



Stay Classy, Democrats! by The Elephant's Child

Briege over Skagit River

This is becoming annoying. One span of the Skagit River Bridge on I-5 collapsed when a trucker with an oversize wide load hit a structural member of the bridge when trying to move over to accommodate another truck. The bridge was inspected within the last 6 months, and passed inspection.

The Chicago theme we’ve heard before — “Never let a crisis go to waste“— immediately prompted Democrats to blame Republicans. On Twitter, former senior adviser to President Obama, David Axlerod, blamed Republicans for the collapse of a portion of the I-5 bridge in Mont Vernon, Washington. He tweeted:

Axlerod

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-Seattle). (better known as Baghdad Jim) accused Republicans of “throwing American infrastructure…under the bus.”

McDermott cited the incident as proof Republicans were blocking infrastructure investment to hurt President Obama politically. McDermott, possibly the most politically partisan member of the House, added: “Well, they have clearly spent the whole last five years trying to tear the president down, but they have done it by throwing the American infrastructure and the society under the bus,” McDermott said in an interview with MSNBC host Al Sharpton. (Now there’s a dramatic interview!)

“We have the most long-term unemployed that we have had since the 1930s and there’s no excuse for that,” McDermott continued.”There is plenty of work in this society that needs to be done and all it means is that the Congress has to step up, put the money up, and we can have it.” He suggested that lawmaker could find extra money to pay for transportation projects by raising the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax.

Brilliant. Why didn’t anybody ever think of that? Washington’s gas tax is already 37.5 cents-per-gallon, New York’s is already 50.6 cents, California’s 48.7, Illinois’ 39.1. Surely some people remember that we already allocated large quantities of public money for infrastructure as part of the Recovery Act, only to have President Obama giggle and announce that he guessed there weren’t really any of those “shovel-ready” projects after all.

The Left always believes that if you just take money out of taxpayers’ pockets and, after passing it through government bureaucracies, put what’s left back into use by paying Union employees to work on a project. A portion of the money paid will thus return to the government in the form of Union dues used to elect another proud member of the Left. It does not foster growth in the economy, government projects take years to come to fruition after the necessary environmental reviews and permitting processes.

If the permits take too long, you can just have those workers dig holes and fill them up again.




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