Sunday, November 01, 2020

Worse Than Sick

Never Trump Republican and husband of Kelly Ann (Fitzpatrick) Conway:

Now, that is one good sense of humor. Trump dishonestly disparages doctors and a critic labels it "one of the sickest lies."

What is the truth, however?

In September, American Hospital Association President and CEO Rick Pollack wrote

Hospitals do not receive extra funds when patients die from COVID-19. They are not over-reporting COVID-19 cases. And, they are not making money on treating COVID-19.....

Further, hospitals and health systems adhere to strict coding guidelines, and use of the COVID-19 code for Medicare claims is reserved for confirmed cases. Coding inappropriately can result in criminal penalties and exclusion from the Medicare program altogether.

Surprise! Trump lied and people will continue to die- Americans, for those individuals convinced the President wants to "make America great again."  There are at least three reasons, each of them more rational (for him) than sick, that Trump has come up with this one.

The President could have noted that under the CARES Act, hospitals and health systems receive a Medicare add-on payment of 29% for what is described here as "complex coronavirus-related treatment." But had Trump done so, he would have dabbled in facts, which he rarely does and which is typically not a concern for his conservative audiences. Additionally, Trump would not have been blaming doctors but hospitals, which bear major responsibility for the outrageous cost of health care in the USA. That would have a bug, not a benefit in an Administration which has enthusiastically promoted the interests of the economic power elite.

Most obviously, however, the President wants to blame others for his failure by deflecting attention from his active role in promoting SARS-CoV-2.  Moreover, if he can sow (further) distrust in doctors, more individuals will be reluctant to seek prompt medical attention when warranted. More deaths would ensue, which (aside from re-election) has been this President's game plan since the beginning of the pandemic.

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