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OP-ED: COVID-19, Putting the Money In Medicare

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It seems like only a few years ago that we began the two-week plan to lock ourselves up, cut ourselves off from friends and family, boil our mail, and treat all others as evil germ carriers. The term “flattening the curve,” which was previously something said in places like Weight Watchers, gave way to the more disturbing and somewhat disgusting term “The New Normal.”

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How in God’s name did we get from there to here? Wasn’t wearing masks, washing our hands until they bleed, regularly disinfecting everything and anyone that we came in contact with, and quarantining ourselves supposed to return life to some semblance of reality? Remember when all of these precautions were supposed to put an end to this damned virus and bring life back to normal? Of course, we are referring to the old normal and not this pale imitation of it.

That was the bill of goods that we were sold by liberals everywhere. Now we have the constantly shifting goalposts, and the only thing that can save us from COVID is everyone voting by mail, oh, and the legalization of ballot harvesting because…..Democrats. Yes, unlike shopping at Walmart, Costco, and pretty much everywhere else except (God forbid) some small business in your community, standing in a line while voting in person is almost guaranteed to kill you, along with everyone else!

This virus isn’t just debilitating; it’s downright brilliant! Just think, COVID can differentiate between violent rioters and innocent churchgoers. It also kills without mercy those who seek to have their hair styled unless they are some highly placed Democratic politicians like the Mayor of Chicago or the Speaker of the House.

Trying to keep track of all of this typically involves watching what passes for news in our country, and if you are doing so seeking anything like comfort, then you sure are looking in the wrong place. The Main Stream Media, along with other once trusted sources of news and information, have become nothing but purveyors of “panic porn,” and they pumped this porn into your home incessantly.

Some State Governors like Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, just can’t seem to help themselves. Michigan after suffering through months of incarceration was denied parole again. The “Detroit News” reported on this revolting development in an article written by Craig Mauger and Beth LeBlanc. The article describes Whitmer’s actions as follows

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday extended Michigan’s state of emergency through Oct. 1, saying COVID-19 is widespread and easily transmitted.

The emergency declaration is what gives the Democratic governor the ability to make unilateral actions to combat the virus, such as closing businesses or penalizing those who don’t wear masks. Whitmer first declared an emergency because of COVID-19 on March 10, when the state confirmed its first cases.

Oct. 1 will come 205 days after the initial declaration.

“By extending the state of emergency, we can continue the crucial work needed to save lives,” Whitmer said. “Since March, I have been committed to using every tool at my disposal to protect families, front-line workers, and our economy from the threat of COVID-19. I urge Michiganders to do their part by wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and staying safe and smart.”

The state of emergency was set to expire Sept. 4, five days prior to when the Michigan Supreme Court is set to hold a hearing on the legitimacy of the governor’s emergency powers when they lack legislative approval.

Wait!! What!?!?, “Oct. 1 will come 205 days after the initial declaration.”?? Perhaps Whitmer, having been passed over for Democratic Vice Presidential candidate (and the chance to end up as famous as Tim Payne, or Tim Blaine, or Tim Plain, or whatever in hell his name was), is seeking fame by setting the Guinness Record for the most protracted state of emergency and most shuttered businesses. If that’s the case, then she is doing a bang up job.

What could possibly be the reason for Michigan extending the emergency? Apparently Governor Whitmer’s utilization of “every tool at her disposal” has not achieved the flattening that we have all hoped for, according to the Detroit News article, “Michigan has surpassed 104,395 overall confirmed cases and 6,519 overall deaths”

But do those numbers reflect what is happening with Coronavirus in Michigan and across the nation? Maybe not, as some recent reports cast doubt upon those figures.

The CDC, speaking of COVID death rates discusses the fact that these rates may be somewhat inflated due to the manner in which the deaths are reported

An article appearing in “Gateway Pundit” has the story

The CDC silently updated their numbers this week to show that only 6% of all coronavirus deaths were completely due to the coronavirus alone.  The rest of the deaths pinned to the China coronavirus are attributed to individuals who had other serious issues going on.

Also, most of the deaths are very old Americans with co-morbidities.

So in other words, the media was rolling with a false narrative, reporting a death toll that was only inflated by about 94%, which seems a little high. Of course, the media rushed to get this story out, hoping that it would serve as a little bright spot in what has been a dismal year thus far – we are totally kidding, in fact, the MSM and social media giants like Twitter and Facebook did all they could to suppress the information.

There is a new phenomenon of late, and it involves a tremendous growth in the number of media “fact-checkers”. The term is something of a misnomer because the majority of these organizations are left-wing “fact-twisters” (see “Fake News America, whos fact-checking the fact-checkers”), and these organizations acted quickly to discredit and squelch the story, and of course…….blame Trump.

Here are just a few of the many headlines

Snopes “Did CDC ‘Quietly Update’ COVID-19 Deaths To Say Only 6% Are Legitimate?”

Fact “CDC Did Not ‘Admit Only 6%’ of Recorded Deaths from COVID-19”

Salon: “Why the “6%” meme stating that COVID-19 deaths are exaggerated is wrong”

A host of other “fact-checkers” such as USA Today, VOX, and others gleefully reported that despite evidence to the contrary, we are all going to die (or words to that effect).

These sites point to the fact that the reported death rates (at least the other 94%), are compiled based upon the cause of death listed on death certificates, and everyone knows that death certificates are never wrong. But is that true?

Many physicians report being pressured to cite COVID 19 as the cause of death in emergency room cases. An article appearing on the “Foundation for Economic Educations” website supports this idea

“…Dr. Erickson noted he has spoken to numerous physicians who say they are being pressured to add COVID-19 to death certificates and diagnostic lists—even when the novel coronavirus appears to have no relation to the victim’s cause of death.

“They say, ‘You know, it’s interesting. When I’m writing up my death report I’m being pressured to add Covid,’” Erickson said. “Why is that? Why are we being pressured to add Covid? To maybe increase the numbers, and make it look a little bit worse than it is?”

Well that seems bad, but don’t worry it gets worse

Earlier this month, Illinois’s top health official explained that any victim diagnosed with the novel coronavirus would be classified as a COVID-19 death—regardless of whether it contributed to the patient’s death.

“If you died of a clear alternate cause, but you had Covid at the same time, it’s still listed as a Covid death,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of Illinois’s Department of Public Health, explained to reporters.

Well, that doesn’t really sound like a conspiracy theory does it? Heck, Donald Trump isn’t even mentioned.

Not only has this information been suppressed, it has been suppressed hard!

Watch this video by Dr. Ngozi Ezike, while you still can.

The same fact-checkers who came out attacking Conservatives for daring to interpret the CDC report by repeating what was in it then slammed the claim of enhanced payments. YouTube videos were taken down, Twitter and Facebook accounts were suspended, and the MSM valiantly refrained from reporting the story. Keep in mind; this is the same MSM that couldn’t wait to tell you about the Trump piss tapes, along with every untruth Adam Schiff breathlessly leaked to his friends in the business.

Then Dr. Scott Jensen of Minnesota came forward and explained the reason for false reporting by exposing the way that Medicare reimbursements work

“Hospital administrators might well want to see COVID-19 attached to a discharge summary or a death certificate. Why? Because if it’s a straightforward, garden-variety pneumonia that a person is admitted to the hospital for—if they’re Medicare—typically, the diagnosis-related group lump sum payment would be $5,000,” said Jensen, whose claim was fact-checked by USA Today. “But if it’s COVID-19 pneumonia, then it’s $13,000, and if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000.”

The idea that physicians would be pressured to list COVID-19 on death certificates, or that doctors and hospitals made substantially more money for diagnosing COVID as a cause of death was immediately attacked by the same fact-checking agencies that attacked the CDC report findings. But a funny thing happened, it seems that the fact-checkers couldn’t disprove Dr. Jensen’s figures on Medicare reimbursement, so they disputed the idea that Doctor’s and Hospital administrators would do such a dastardly thing.

The USA Today’s “Ask FastCheck dismissed the idea by saying

Ask FactCheck’s conclusion: “Recent legislation pays hospitals higher Medicare rates for COVID-19 patients and treatment, but there is no evidence of fraudulent reporting.”

Julie Aultman, a member of the editorial board of the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics, told PolitiFact it is “very unlikely that physicians or hospitals will falsify data or be motivated by money to do so.” went a little bit farther in their rebuttal, again not denying that a financial benefit might exist to claim everything COVID, but reinforcing the idea that Doctor’s and Hospitals are above reproach and would never game the system

“There’s an implication here that hospitals are over-reporting their COVID patients because they have an economic advantage of doing so, [which] is really an outrageous claim,” Gerald Kominski, senior fellow at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, told us. And, he said, any suggestion that patients may be put on ventilators out of financial gain, not medical need, “is basically saying physicians are violating their Hippocratic Oath … it would be like providing heart surgery on someone who doesn’t need it.”

Everyone knows Medicare fraud simply doesn’t exist, any more than voter fraud exists, which is to say, it exists a lot.

An article that appeared in The National Review made this crystal clear. The article was written by Kevin D. Williamson and entitled aptly enough “The truth about Medicare Fraud” the article reported that

In September, the Department of Health and Human Services sent out a warning that improper payments under Medicaid have become so common that they will account this year for almost 12 percent of total Medicaid spending — just shy of $140 billion. (Total improper payments across federal programs will come to about $139 billion this year, according to estimates that have proved too generous in the past, and almost all of that is Medicaid-driven.) That rate has doubled in only a few years, driven mostly by the so-called Affordable Care Act’s liberalization of Medicaid-eligibility rules.

What!!! 140 Billion?!?! It’s almost as if people were violating their oaths or something!!!

No sooner had the media stomped out the flames of the 6% firestorm than another chink in the media’s “We’re all going to die” armor appeared from an unlikely source……”The New York Times”, yes that New York Times, which recently published an article entitled “Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be,” which was written by Apoorva Mandavilli. The report highlighted research regarding the rash of false positives that were occurring in Coronavirus tests in states such as New York, Massachusettes, and Nevada. According to Mandavilli (a reporter for the Times who (according to her bio) specialized in science and global health and is also the winner of the 2019 “Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting”), the results of these tests should receive more scrutiny. Mandavilli reports that

In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found.

On Thursday, the United States recorded 45,604 new coronavirus cases, according to a database maintained by The Times. If the rates of contagiousness in Massachusetts and New York were to apply nationwide, then perhaps only 4,500 of those people may actually need to isolate and submit to contact tracing.

On Thursday, the United States recorded 45,604 new coronavirus cases, according to a database maintained by The Times. If the rates of contagiousness in Massachusetts and New York were to apply nationwide, then perhaps only 4,500 of those people may actually need to isolate and submit to contact tracing.

So, to sum it up, the current number of individuals reportedly testing positive in this country is 27,437,294. Assuming a 90% error rate (which would equal 24,693,564) then the actual number of positive cases of the virus could be as low as 2,743,730. If that’s true, then imposing draconian lockdowns and extending them for months on end would seem to be a bit of overkill, wouldn’t it?

Well that seems like good news, unless you want the virus to continue, want a second wave of the virus to mutate and keep Americans from the polls in November.

Its almost as if Liberals and their propaganda outlet the MSM, need this virus to continue. The last time the media fought this hard to maintain a narrative it was about Russian Collusion, and we all know how that turned out.

Believing that the Democratic Party is capable of perpetrating such a huge hoax on the American people in order to shut down polls in a desperate attempt to win an election does smell like a conspiracy theory. Still, it is conceivable that Democrats are hoping that by extending lockdowns, they will eventually destroy our economy, and the economy is Trump’s biggest.., well, his biggest Trump card (sorry). Of course, ruining the economy doesn’t make any sense. Still, neither does it make sense to allow the communities and cities that you were elected to lead burn to the ground, nor does it make sense to allow the people you represent to suffer, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats to date.

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