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Article published October 26, 2012
Good care is priority
Barbra Midkiff Clay Township
People shouldn’t fault the Affordable Care Act. I had stage 4 colon cancer and was admitted many times at Butler Memorial Hospital because the chemotherapy treatments I was receiving were worse than the cancer they were meant to destroy. The treatments eventually had to be stopped, and I never received my last four treatments. Thank God it has been seven years and I am now cancer-free. Butler Memorial Hospital is great in patient care and empathy. To me, Jeremy Cetti’s Oct. 19 letter to the editor, “Obamacare faulted,” seems far-fetched. Many people go to the hospital by ambulance and later are sent home without readmission. Hospitals just can’t say to seniors, “Sorry, you’re very sick and should be admitted, but we won’t admit you because we hit our quota for the month.” Were they to do that, they could be sued for far more than whatever fine they might receive purportedly due to Obamacare. A complex ratio/formula is used to determine readmission rates of seniors: http://www.medpac.gov/documents/Mar12_EntireReport.pdf People must remember that, prior to 1996, before the Mothers Health Protection Act, insurance companies paid only 24 hours postpartum and hospitals had no choice but to discharge them too soon, resulting in not enough time for the mother and child to receive adequate medical care and attention. Medical readmissions have decreased for mother and baby since then. The Affordable Care Act focuses on patients more than wanting to fine hospitals. We, the American people, pay hospitals for senior care (Medicare). What’s needed is for seniors to get better care and attention before being released and then good follow-up care from their doctors after their discharge.