No Patient Left Uncured
Comments from Annie: What can I say? I think this piece is great!
Dateline July 20, 2012
The centerpiece of President ______'s socialized medicine program was the No Patient Left Uncured Act, the aim of which was to assure that no patient would die of an ailment for which he or she was admitted to a government hospital.
The No Patient Left Uncured Act, or NPLU, sprang from the Nebraska medical miracle, which radically reduced the number of deaths among hospitalized patients by assuring that all doctors were held responsible for their survival. Omaha led the way, with the cure rate for all cancers soaring to 95%. Some Omaha hospitals, even some that serve mostly low income patients, those who would be expected to have the lowest cure rates, boast a 100% cure rate for each of the past five years.
There are, however, detractors. ______ , a former surgeon at _________ hospital, claims that he and other medical personnel were under intense pressure to falsely declare that seriously ill patients had been cured. In some cases, he claims, discharge paperwork had to be expedited in order to get “cured” patients out the hospital door before they died.
The Omaha News reported that, interestingly, there has been a sharp increase in the number of people who died of unspecified natural causes shortly after having been released from a hospital. There is an especially high number of former cancer patients who supposedly committed suicide within a few weeks of their cure and release from care.
A review of some statistics reveals that life expectancy in Omaha has not increased as a result of the Nebraska medical miracle. In fact, American Medical Association statistics indicate that overall life expectancy in Omaha is actually four months less that it had been a decade ago, and is almost on year shorter than it is in other Midwestern cities. The American Medical Association has opposed NCLU, calling it a laughable attempt to legislate immortality. US Surgeon General _________ responded that members of the AMA are only attempting to poison the public's minds against NPLU because they are resisting the government's attempts to hold the medical profession accountable.
Some claim that the miracle is the result of the lowering of standards for medical tests. At one time, a patient was considered diabetic if his or her blood sugar level exceeded 129 after fasting. After standards for a higher diabetes cure rate were set, the level for diagnosis was reset as well, first to 150, then to 170, and eventually to 210. Surgeon general _____ argues that the levels were raised as a result of legitimate medical research which indicated that levels of blood sugar below 220 were not harmful, and that no deception was involved.
_______ , spokesman for the Association for Honesty in Medical Statistics has made the claim that higher cure rates were the result of certain high-risk patients being exempted from the statistical analysis. Since government statisticians realized that smokers are at greater risk for deadly cancers, and that whether or not a patient smoked is beyond the control of the attending physicians, cancer deaths of smokers would not be figured into the formula. Some watchdog groups claim that, in order to take unfair advantage of this loophole, some physicians have overstated the number of smokers in their care.
Mrs. _______ , an Omaha citizen whose husband recently passed away as a result of smoking-induced colon cancer, claims that her husband had never smoked a cigarette in his life, yet official hospital records indicated that he had smoked three packs of Camels per day for his entire adult life. A hospital spokesperson produced a pack of cigarettes that were found a pocket of the jacket that Mr. ______ wore when he was admitted to the hospital.
Another complaint is that certain ailments, those not addressed by the new law, are not receiving attention because hospitals and clinic do not get credit for treating them. Arthritics complain that many physicians refuse to treat them, since this ailment can only be treated, making the patient more comfortable, but cannot be cured, and only cures are monitored.
Does this scenario sound far fetched? Ask those who have been living the Texas education miracle.
Jesness teaches ESL and Spanish for the Clear Creek Independent School District in League City , Texas . His web page is www.jesness.com . He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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