Michelle Obama's Hospital Job, Part III
The Chicago Tribune today weighs into the debate over programs linked to Michelle Obama that seek to steer patients with non-urgent illnesses out of the emergency room at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Obama is a vice president, and into local clinics.
The Tribune notes, as originally reported on Aug. 22 The Washington Post's Joe Stephens, that some physicians and elected officials question whether the plan is as much about saving money as it is about improving care for the poor and uninsured on Chicago's South Side.
"For all its successes, though, the initiative has prompted questions from a wide array of skeptics, including a prominent Republican senator, a local alderman and some of the hospital's doctors," the Tribune reported. "They all strike a similar chord, which Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) summed up this way: The medical center appears to be 'culling the least profitable patients from its emergency room.' "
As reported in the WaPo investigative blog last week, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is among those questioning the program. Executives at the medical center say they have done nothing wrong and they and a spokesman for the Obama campaign said the center is motivated by the need to focus on true emergencies and advanced medical procedures.
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