Pot, Kettle, etc.

Speaking of being robustly ignorant of just about everything — the Daily Mail reports that the British National Health Service is guilty of sending many hospital patients home too soon, resulting in 500,000 readmission a year. Naturally righties are seizing on this as proof that “Obamacare” won’t work.

What they’re not noticing, beside the fact that NHS in no way resembles anything being proposed in Washington, is that the U.S. has a huge hospital readmission problem also. This is true in spite of the fact that many Americans who need hospitalization are not admitted even once, never mind again. Readmissions are a significant driver of health care cost in the U.S.

One 2004 study found that “The percentage of multiple hospital readmissions averages between 21% and 27% in the United States today.” However, most of the data for hospital readmission that I could find is confined to hospitals, states, specific illnesses, or programs (e.g., Medicare), but not the nation as a whole. The all-cause readmission rate for patients originally hospitalized with heart failure is 49 percent, for example. If anyone can provide more comprehensive data showing hospital readmission rates for all populations in the U.S., I’d appreciate it.

13 thoughts on “Pot, Kettle, etc.

  1. I don’t have any concrete data, but my experience (I’ve been admitted three times in the last two years) has been that if the hospital had sent me home any sooner I would have still been under the influence of anesthesia!

  2. “Naturally righties are seizing on this as proof that “Obamacare” won’t work.”

    Right, because we in America could never possibly do anything better than the British. They’re super-beings who never make mistakes and we’re just a bunch of boobs.

    It’s funny how righties hate America when it serves their purpose.

    • Rick — I think their idea is that the British NHS is a mess (and it does have problems), and the British NHS is “socialized medicine” (note quote marks for irony), and Obama wants to institute “socialized medicine” (even though he doesn’t), therefore the NHS is like like “Obamacare,” therefore if the NHS is screwed up the health care reform plan that may or may not still be in consideration in Congress would also be screwed up.

  3. Death Squads, Socialist Health Care, Cutting Medicare. blah, blah, blah. The reich wing noise machine likes to shout loud and uses fear and disinformation to achieve their desired outcome – NO HCR & Democratic Fail – that’s ALL that they care about. Just pull whatever you want to say out of thin air don’t let facts stand in the way of some faux nooz talking points – the base will just swallow it hook line & sinker.


  4. For at least 30 years, the Right has been on a mission to starve the federal government – call it a ‘divine’ mission because that’s how they see it. (Reagan/Bush tax cuts – their under-the-radar reason being to starve the government – alone sucked $2.5 trillions out of the budget and remember it was Reagan who called government the “problem, not the solutuion”.) So any government involvment in any program, especially one that interferes with their ‘divine’ mission, is unacceptable.

    Any chance they get – often based on completely irrational evidence – to demonize the government, they’ll gleefully take. Education, health-care, social security, medicare, the EPA, funding for the Arts/PBS…gone if the Right has its way.

  5. So right you are, Felicirty. Makes me want to bang my head against a wall.

    If the anti-government types were serious about getting the government of their lives, they could certainly do so. There are still many places in this country where you can buy a piece of land in a remote area, grow your own veggies, raise and slaughter your own livestock, cut your own wood, pump your own water, make your own candles, build your own outhouse, plow your own road, barter for goods and services, and home school your kids. So long as you don’t impinge on your neighbors’ rights or tresspass of state or federal lands, I say more power to you.

    But it’s been my experience that many of those screaming loudest about the evils of government are some of the greatest beneficiaries of it.

  6. I’m becoming more and more convinced that health care in this country will never happen. Or if it does, it will suck so bad, due to Republican “idea’s,” that we’ll all wish it never happened.
    When Reagan uttered his famous phrase about the scariest words in the English langauge being about someone from the government being there to help, most of us thought this was crazy.
    Where would this country have been in 1979 and ’80 if government hadn’t gotten involeved in The Great Depression, WWII, and then gave us the greatest middle class and economy in the history of the world?
    Well, then he and his puppet masters and their minions went about proving it.

    If Reagan had said “Don’t eat cookies, they’re too salty!” people would have laughed. But then, if everytime someone made a cookie recipe, some right-winger threw in a handful of salt; if he put former CEO’s of salt companies on the cookie regulatory boards, today we’d be saying, “Jesus, don’t give me cookies for dessert, they’re too fucking salty. Give me potato chips instead, they really hit my sweet-tooth!.”
    America, vat a country…
    We don’t have to worry about a coming “Idiotocracy.” We’re here now!

  7. And btw – no, I haven’t forgotten the “ketchup is a vegetable” line. That almost came to pass, too.

  8. If you start with the link and page through the Daily Mail, you find the usual tabloidy stories: pedophile exposes, domestic murder, celebrities saying offensive things, and numerous articles about just how bad, bad, bad medical care is in Jolly Old England. While the paper isn’t part of Murdoch’s evil empire, it is owned, or co-owned, by one “Harold Jonathan Esmond Vere Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere,” who doesn’t even reside in Britain. He’s just a stinking-rich Conservative who hates the NHS on principal.

    So I think we can call BS on that info until it comes from a respectable source.

  9. Hi maha,

    No, I get that. It’s just so depressingly predictable and stupid. And among the stupidities is that this opposition isn’t based on what’s actually being proposed, but on some super-secret agenda that Obama has up his sleeve that he has never put into place or even acknowledged to any of his closest advisors but the righties just “know” he’s waiting to spring on us because he OBVIOUSLY hates America.

    You can tell because there’s something different and shifty about that Obama fellow. Just something – I don’t know, DIFFERENT about him compared to all the other presidents. I can’t put my finger on it, but I’m sure it’ll come to me.

    Where would this country have been in 1979 and ‘80 if government hadn’t gotten involeved in The Great Depression, WWII, and then gave us the greatest middle class and economy in the history of the world?

    I’ve been shouting this from the rooftops for years. We went from a semi-agrarian coutry still struggling to get out from under the shadow of our Civil War to the winner (with a lot of help) of two world wars and the world’s economic colossus in about 80 years, and the conservatives were kicking and screaming every step of the way.

  10. This explains a lot about Bat$hit Crazy Overdrive:

    Bachman is being sent to Congress by conservative evangelical “christians” who want to practice what R. J. Rushdoony taught. They want an American government subordinated to their interpretation of the bible. It’s the same sort of government that Iran has, just a different book and different council of Mullahs in charge.

    When it comes to spouting teh crazy/stupid, Shelly is second to none:


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