By Nathan Barton
The Casper Star Tribune reports that the Cheyenne Regional hospital has lost its Medicare and Medicaid certification from the FedGov (and the Wyoming Department of Health) because the hospital – in very simple terms – has been found guilty of abusing an adult, but blind, elderly human (they won’t even identify what sex this person is) by discharging the person (who wanted to be discharged) and going beyond what should be the natural role of a hospital and arranging for the person to be accepted by a shelter, after the family refused to help.
It is a topic that Mama Liberty knows a lot more about than I do. She comments: “Talk about a no win situation for the hospital. They likely had zero option not to admit the person to start with. [Cops brought the person to the hospital.] Since there was no family willing to accept responsibility, and the patient was not really competent to care for him/herself, evidently… I’d like to know what the hospital was supposed to do about it. [Debby speculates that the person might have dementia or some similar, basically untreatable condition.] The hospital is ALWAYS under pressure from Medicare to discharge people as soon as possible (and often when they should not be)… always that pressure both coming and going… I expect there was NO viable option at all for the hospital. Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t… whatever you do. What the heck were they supposed to do with this person, especially since it doesn’t sound as if the patient was cooperative? I’ve done discharge planning, and it is a nasty, thankless job because you can’t seem to please anyone much of the time. The terror of having “Medicare” inspectors involved [the Wyoming state employees are nothing more than shills for the FedGov, as is the case in every state] – no matter how hard you work – is the killer. I am sure that the nurse or social worker who did this discharge planning is now looking for another job. Possibly at Burger King… “
So once again we see the consequences of allowing government to get involved in medical care. It is a major mess, and every step of the way we see how government’s “corrective actions” (and nanny-state attitude) have just made matters worse. This person has a history of stroke and not properly taking medication, and they are blind. But they obviously are an adult, even though the state (and for that matter, probably the hospital administrators and a lot of other people) treat them like a child. My great-grandmother was blind for the last decades of her life, had several other medical problems, and probably was a bit “dotty” as she neared the end of her life, cared for by her family and living at home and able to take care of herself (with some assistance) despite her handicaps. Today, she would not be allowed to do that. (As my younger aunt’s case proves: forced into a nursing home by a court to “protect her” from the supposed incompetence of her family – where she died within weeks of being committed.)
A large part of this is the incompetence of government, and the internal fussing and fighting. The Cheyenne Regional medical center (in the State Capital of Wyoming) is itself a government organization, as I understand it. The state agencies, instead of defending local government (such as most hospital authorities are), is a tool of regulatory oppression of local government: as I said, shills for DC.
The hospital there in Cheyenne is reaping the “benefits” of allowing itself to become a government entity in the first place, and to accept taxpayer money. In that, they are little different from schools and even (in too many places) religious organizations and other once-private, voluntary organizations. The playing field is permanently tilted against them: they get beat up on by the very same organizations (various government agencies) that they linked up with to help them with an overwhelming task.
What can be done? Not much, until people learn to take responsibility for themselves and their families. As long as we continue to “let George (Washington, DC) do it,” we will suffer more and more. One minarchist recently claimed that one of (admittedly few) roles of government was to “care for the very poor and the very weak.” That, I think, is dead wrong: the LAST group we want to trust our poor and weak (such as the elderly) to is government.