Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on April 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

I guess we shouldn’t be terribly surprised, after the emergence of bogeymen like Tonsil Vultures and Foot Fiends from the imagination of Barack Obama, when the President can’t get medical issues correct, especially off the TelePrompter. But we should expect Obama to get the law right.  When answering questions about health-care costs in the Facebook townhall last week, the President explained that hospitals profit by screwing up (h/t Virginia M):

It’s also, though, how we reimburse doctors and how we reimburse hospitals.  So right now, what happens is, when you’ve taken those two tests, if you’re old enough to qualify for Medicare, well, each doctor sends their bill to Medicare and Medicare pays both bills.  And let’s say that you end up getting an operation.  They’ll send the bill for that, and Medicare pays that.  Let’s say they didn’t do a very good job, or you got sick in the hospital, and you are readmitted and you have to be treated again and they have to do the operation all over again.  Medicare then gets billed for the second operation.

Wow!  That sounds like a pretty bad problem, all right.  That’s why Republicans fixed the problemin 2005:

Under new Medicare regulations, hospitals will no longer receive higher payments for the additional costs associated with treating patients for certain hospital-acquired infections and medical errors. The new rules will give hospitals a powerful new incentive to improve patient care, according to Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports. …

Under the rules adopted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), payments will be withheld from hospitals for care associated with treating certain catheter-associated urinary tract infections, vascular catheter-associated infections, mediastinitis after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, and five other medical errors unrelated to infections (bed sores, objects left in patients’ bodies, blood incompatibility, air embolism, and falls). The new rules will go into effect in October 2008.

To comply with a 2005 law passed by Congress, CMS evaluated a number of serious, preventable health care acquired conditions and identified these eight for the first round of non-payment due to the high volume of patients affected, the high cost of treating patients, and the existence of prevention guidelines. The agency intends to consider other hospital acquired infections and medical errors for non-payment in future years.

The new Medicare regulations include protections to prevent hospitals from billing patients when payments are withheld and to minimize avoidance of patients perceived to be at risk for infections. “We are pleased that the rules clearly state that hospitals cannot bill patients for the amount that Medicare refuses to pay,” said McGiffert. “CMS will need to make sure these protections are enforced so patients are treated fairly. And the agency should be on the lookout for hospitals that try to game the system by falsifying codes to avoid nonpayment.”

Now, Barack Obama should remember this well enough, since he was in the Senate when it passed S.1932 in December 2005.  Obama had just finished up his first year in the upper chamber, well before the grizzled veteran of Capitol Hill decided to run for President with all of two full years in national office.  It’s not like the vote was a dull affair, either; the vote was 50/50, and Vice President Dick Cheney had to cast the tiebreaker for the bill to pass.

And how did Obama vote?  Nay.

Note: I will be on vacation from tomorrow through May 8th.  I’ll pick up the OOTD feature and the poll when I return to the country in May, so there will be no poll this Sunday.  Meanwhile, keep the suggestions rolling in!

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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Vice President Dick?

Aviator on April 27, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Vice President Dick

I think you mean Dick Cheney, but the fact that he was a curmudgeon is one of his most endearing qualities.

KingGold on April 27, 2011 at 8:10 AM

obaka voted no? LOLOLOLOL

What a freakin’ hypocrite!!

ladyingray on April 27, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Coming from a guy who doesn’t know the difference between liability only and full coverage auto insurance, I’m not surprised.

txsurveyor on April 27, 2011 at 8:15 AM

And how did Obama vote? Nay.

Teeheehee.

BadgerHawk on April 27, 2011 at 8:17 AM

I think that he is an Idiot Savant w/o the Savant.

darwin-t on April 27, 2011 at 8:18 AM

I think that he is an Idiot Savant w/o the Savant.

darwin-t on April 27, 2011 at 8:18 AM

heh

ladyingray on April 27, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Will Medicare cover my EWS (Ed Withdrawl Syndrome) while you’re on vacation?

KS Rex on April 27, 2011 at 8:24 AM

He was against it….before he was for it. Just like everything else.

search4truth on April 27, 2011 at 8:27 AM

KingGold on April 27, 2011 at 8:10 AM

[facepalm]

Fixed.

[/facepalm]

Ed Morrissey on April 27, 2011 at 8:28 AM

You can’t really blame Barry for not knowing much about what went on in the Senate during his brief tenure there. He was very busy doing that thing he had promised the voters of Illinois he would absolutely not do: preparing his run for the presidency.

AZCoyote on April 27, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Those lies just glibly roll off ObaMao’s tongue, and no one in the media call him on them…except for Ed, of course.

Happy travels, Ed.

onlineanalyst on April 27, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Voted no along party lines. First, we had to assume he read it and then assume he understood it. Pretty big assumptions.

Kissmygrits on April 27, 2011 at 8:32 AM

A little OT/

Ed,

I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to wish you and Marcia a wonderful and well-deserved vacation. It will no doubt be a lot of fun but spiritually uplifting as well.

Bon voyage!

Cody1991 on April 27, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Sometimes this guy reminds me of me when I was about 19. An indignant little half-informed smartass. Probably one of the reasons he annoys me so much.

forest on April 27, 2011 at 8:40 AM

But we should expect Obama to get the law right.

Why? What evidence is there that Obama actually understands anything, with the possible exception of Rules for Radicals. Time and time again his “knowledge” of just about everything has been exposed as superficial and shallow. Should we really expect the law — or his own legislative career — to be an exception?

jwolf on April 27, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Ed: While I hope you have a grand vacation with your lovely wife, I must admit to being quite nervous. I fear there are going to be several OOTD gems that will pass — The Once has been on quite a roll lately.

Have a great time, and come back well rested! :)

Mutnodjmet on April 27, 2011 at 8:44 AM

/lefitst chump mode on

You guys are just mad that this is bad for Republican Optics!

/lefitst chump mode off

MNHawk on April 27, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Cody1991 on April 27, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Same wishes here also, Ed.

[Is is true you were really invited to 'The Wedding' and not obama?] /s

lukespapa on April 27, 2011 at 8:46 AM

forest on April 27, 2011 at 8:40 AM

It probably doesn’t help that at his age there doesn’t seem to be too much chance of him outgrowing it. And he gets to run our lives!!!!!!!!

Cindy Munford on April 27, 2011 at 8:47 AM

It wasn’t his idea back then in 2005 so it doesn’t count.

tinkerthinker on April 27, 2011 at 8:47 AM

especially off the TelePrompter

He’s probably still morning the death of Hubert Schlafly Jr. Who is he you ask, only the most important person in Obama’s life. In the 1950s Schlafly invented the teleprompter.

Tommy_G on April 27, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Tommy_G on April 27, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Actually, his greatest emotional attachment is with his telepromter. People? Not at all. Taking his teleprompter away from him would be a difficult as getting Pelosi to give up the gavel.

Cody1991 on April 27, 2011 at 8:52 AM

He’s probably still morning the death of Hubert Schlafly Jr. Who is he you ask, only the most important person in Obama’s life. In the 1950s Schlafly invented the teleprompter.

Tommy_G on April 27, 2011 at 8:48 AM

When the black helicopters came for Schlafly last week, he was still alive….

Shy Guy on April 27, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Drudge has an interesting breaking story.

Fallon on April 27, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Have a great trip—the both of you, and refresh the batteries.

O/T: Obama’s going to “wag the dog” some more (taking our minds and empty pocketbooks off the real issues) to “clarify” his birth certificate. Wonder if this message will be covered by Medicare?

Rovin on April 27, 2011 at 9:04 AM

It’s also, though, how we reimburse doctors and how we reimburse hospitals. So right now, what happens is, when you’ve taken those two tests, if you’re old enough to qualify for Medicare, well, each doctor sends their bill to Medicare and Medicare pays both bills. And let’s say that you end up getting an operation. They’ll send the bill for that, and Medicare pays that. Let’s say they didn’t do a very good job, or you got sick in the hospital, and you are readmitted and you have to be treated again and they have to do the operation all over again. Medicare then gets billed for the second operation.

Except that hospitals and doctors are deathly afraid of being sued for not doing a very good job or if you get sick at the hospital because of their care. So there are quality of care departments in hospitals that track and correct any kind of screw-ups that happen.
And if a doctor is responsible for a large amount of issues/infections/whatever, they get fired…..

Obama should know how hospitals work. His wife worked at one, after all.

mjk on April 27, 2011 at 9:04 AM

The perpetual Campaigner-in-Chief will claim that his vote on this issue was “political, fer sure” again and demand to be excused from responsibility on the grounds that his life is “just politics.”
.
Meanwhile, Mark Knoller has tweeted the COLB claiming it is the long form. Today should be very argumentative and unsatisfying.

ExpressoBold on April 27, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Have a wonderful vacation, Ed!

Buy Danish on April 27, 2011 at 10:04 AM

As I said the last time Obama lied about an issue – there is absolutely no reason on God’s green earth for Obama to get the facts straight. No media outlet ever calls him on it.

It’s nice always have story to back up whatever you are selling. And how liberal and wonderful of the press to never insist that the stories of BO actually be based on fact.

katablog.com on April 27, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Barry continues to talk out of both sides of his mouth.

GarandFan on April 27, 2011 at 10:25 AM

I’m sure Barry would tell you he made a mistake on that vote and that he that it was just political vote that he made instead of doing what was right for the country.

mchristian on April 27, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I am convinced that ObaMao is Congenitally incapable of telling the whole truth.

Slowburn on April 27, 2011 at 12:24 PM

You can’t expect Turdboy to remember that vote. After all, he voted no and it passed anyway, thereby making the issue not about him.

SKYFOX on April 27, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Hey Ed! Have a good vacation!

(I suggest you pick a nice day and go fishing. Pick up a six-pack on the way home. But that’s just me.)

novaculus on April 27, 2011 at 2:21 PM

(I suggest you pick a nice day and go fishing. Pick up a six-pack on the way home. But that’s just me.)

novaculus on April 27, 2011 at 2:21 PM

He went to Rome. Another time for fishing…

Schadenfreude on April 27, 2011 at 2:31 PM