July 23, 2009

Program Linked to First Lady Michelle Obama Accused of Patient 'Dumping'. What's Up With This News President Obama? You Care My Ass! MUST WATCH VIDEO!

Fox News
Program Linked to First Lady Michelle Obama Accused of Patient 'Dumping'
Reported by Sean Hannity
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 22, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Before you buy into Barack Obama's universal health care plan, you might want to hear about a little known medical program key members of his administration started on Chicago's South Side. It's called the Urban Health Initiative, and it's been stirring up quite a controversy in the Windy City.

The program began in 2006 as the brainchild of first lady Michelle Obama when she was the VP at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Its mission? To provide quality care to the area's poor and streamline the hospital's E.R. by directing non-emergency cases to nearby clinics. Despite numerous phone calls and e-mails to the medical center, we were denied interviews with any of the program's employees, but we did talk to a former student at the university's medical school who was familiar with the initiative.

EARHARDT: To get that investment, Michelle Obama, along with close friend and future Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, hired — you guessed it — Obama spin doctor David Axelrod. He began to wage the initiative's PR Campaign. It worked. The good press surrounding the program helped the hospital win $23 million (government) grant. And even today, the initiative continues to be the beneficiary of government funding. It received $190,000 from the omnibus spending bill, which is on top of the more than $50 million in tax breaks the hospital is given every year.

But now, critics are asking whether redirecting patients helps the poor or the hospital's bottom line.

(on camera): The program certainly provides the university physicians here a convenient way to focus on their wealthy patients and pushed the uninsured out the door.

(voice-over): Last year, 12-year-old Dontae Adams was attacked by a pit bull. His motherimmediately took him to the university's emergency room. However, the staff was more interested in her insurance provider, she says, than they were in treating her soon. After learning she has Medicaid, Dontae was promptly redirected to a hospital an hour away.

The incident caught the attention of the American College of Emergency Physicians early in 2009. They issued a scathing press release, criticizing the Urban Health Initiative, saying, quote, "This is a dangerous precedent that could have catastrophic effects in poor neighborhoods across the country."

A few months later, a 78-year-old Medicare patient died in the waiting room after nurses failed to register him for almost four hours.

Unfortunately, these experiences are far from uncommon. The Chicago Tribune reported that 32 percent of patients redirected from the university's E.R. are poor or uninsured. And people we interviewed outside local clinics said the university would be the last emergency room they would visit.

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