Dr. Jack Cassell, the Orlando urologist who put a sign on his door letting patients know he doesn’t want to have to treat them if they are Obama/health care reform supporters, was on my radio show Friday night, but didn’t seem to know much about the health care bill he’s criticizing.
At 1:46 in:
Cassell: Hospice cuts in 2012…Does the government want people to die slowly?
Colmes: Do you really think the government wants people dead?
Cassell: Well I think that they’re cutting all supportive care, like nursing homes, ambulance services…
Colmes: What to you mean they’re cutting nursing homes?
Cassell: They’re cutting nursing home reimbursements
Colmes: Isn’t what they’re cutting under the Medicare plan what was really double dipping; they were getting credits and they were getting to deduct them at the same time.
Cassell: Well you know, I can’t tell you exactly what the deal is.
Colmes: If you can’t tell us exactly what the deal is, why are you opposing it and fighting against it?
Cassell: I’m not the guy who wrote the plan.
Colmes: But if you don’t know what the deal is why are you speaking out against something you don’t know what the deal is?
Cassell: What I get online, just like any other American. What I’m supposed to understand about the bill should be available to me.
Colmes: It is; it’s been online for a long time; it’s also been all over the media…
In fact, the National Association of Home Care and Hospice praises much of the bill.
The health care bill is sweeping legislation in every sense, beginning with a ground-up transformation from an acute care-based, institutionally oriented health system to one that focuses on disease prevention and home and community-based care, the latter primarily through the bill’s inclusion of a program called the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act and significant expansions of Medicaid. As you may already know, the Florida Medicaid program’s annual budget now surpasses the statewide education budget. If (and it’s a BIG if) this CLASS act does what it says it will do, it could provide an opportunity for expansion of home health care services over time as changes are implemented and the cost savings that can be attributed to home health care versus institutional care are realized.
And while there was opposition to the House version of the bill, the version that was passed, the Senate version, is much more acceptable to the home health care and hospice community.
The original House legislation would have imposed deeper cuts in projected home health and hospice spending over the next 10 years (approximately $55 billion for home health and $10 billion for hospice). The Senate version which was approved last night is a kinder, gentler version of home health care cuts, taking effect in smaller doses and a later implementation date than the original House bill so that agencies could adapt their operations and care practices to the changes.
Perhaps Dr. Cassell might want to revisit his opposition after learning more about the bill.