"First Mom" Michelle O helped create a patient-dumping scheme that makes many poor, black people turn to poorly funded clinics instead of hospital ER's for care:
The First Lady helped create a notorious program that dumped poor patients on community hospitals, yet the national media ignore the story. Imagine if her husband were a Republican.
The University of Chicago Medical Center has received a good deal of justly opprobrious press over its policy of "redirecting" low-income patients to community hospitals while reserving its own beds for well-heeled patients requiring highly profitable procedures. Substantial coverage was given to a recent indictment of the program by the American College of Emergency Physicians. ACEP's president, Dr. Nick Jouriles, released a statement suggesting that the initiative comes "dangerously close to ‘patient dumping,' a practice made illegal by the Emergency Medical Labor and Treatment Act, and reflected an effort to ‘cherry pick' wealthy patients over poor."
Oddly absent from most of the unflattering press coverage of UCMC's patient-dumping scheme is any mention of the role our new First Lady played in devising the program. A laudable exception has been the Chicago Sun-Times, which reported last August that "Michelle Obama -- currently on unpaid leave from her $317,000-a-year job as a vice president of the prestigious hospital -- helped create the program."On the rare occasions when other "news" media have bothered to connect the Urban Health Initiative to its glamorous creator, they have attempted to whitewash this tawdry program. Typical of such disingenuous coverage was a story in the Washington Post, which described it as "an innovative program to steer the patients to existing neighborhood clinics."But no amount of journalistic lipstick can hide the reality that Mrs. Obama's initiative is a patient-dumping scheme. Such "cherry-picking," as Dr. Jouriles accurately describes it, was, at one time, fairly common. Prestigious institutions like the University of Chicago Medical Center routinely "dumped" Medicaid, uninsured and other unprofitable patients on less mercenary community hospitals. Many patients suffered needlessly, and more than a few actually died, as the result of this practice. So, in 1986, President Reagan signed the Emergency Medical Labor and Treatment Act (EMTALA) into law. EMTALA made such "redirection" illegal, but many high profile hospitals still chafed at being forced to treat poor patients. Enter Michelle Obama, UCMC's "Vice President for Community and External Affairs."Mrs. Obama first hatched the UCMC program as the "South Side Health Collaborative," which featured a gang of "counselors" whose job it was to "advise" low-income patients that they would be better off at other hospitals and clinics. The program was so successful in getting rid of unwanted patients that she expanded it, gave it a new name, and hired none other than David Axelrod to sell the program to the public. According to the Sun-Times, "Obama's wife and Valerie Jarrett, an Obama friend and adviser who chairs the medical center's board, backed the Axelrod firm's hiring." Axelrod helped the future First Lady formulate a public relations campaign in which the "Urban Health Initiative" was represented as a boon to the community actuated by the purest of altruistic motives.
With a liberal press so infatuated with Michelle O, expect to see little to no coverage on this pathetic piece of news--as expected when you consider that almost two months into Barry O's presidency, with approval numbers for him dipping of late, there still seems to be no end in sight when it comes to the media's honeymoon for the Obama's. Of course, if Laura Bush was involved in a patient-dumping deal while First Lady, the press would be all over it like white on rice.