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Kathy Shaidle

FOX: Michelle Obama named in illegal "patient dumping" scheme

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Posted on July 23 2009 8:13 am
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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Just minutes after President Obama‘s disastrous prime-time press conference touting his “health care” plan, FOX News host Sean Hannity aired a special segment about a so-called “patient-dumping” scandal in Obama’s hometown, Chicago.

And the scandal may very well involve First Lady Michelle Obama herself.

As is typical in many large urban centers, many of Chicago’s poor were visiting hospital emergency rooms for non-emergencies. While she was a highly-paid Vice President at the prestigious University of Chicago Medical Center, Mrs. Obama duly concocted the Urban Health Initiative (UHI) as a solution.

Under the UHI, Medicaid/Medicare patients were redirected from the Medical Center’s ER, to small, faraway clinics — thus freeing up the Medical Center’s precious resources (critics say) for the exclusive use of wealthier patients with private insurance.

Thanks to the efforts of Obama’s top political strategist (and long-time Chicago machine player) David Axelrod, the program was launched with millions of dollars in federal funding. According to the Chicago Sun-Times:

Another Obama adviser and close friend, Dr. Eric Whitaker, took over the Urban Health Initiative when he was hired at U. of C. in October 2007. Whitaker previously had been director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Obama has said he recommended Whitaker for the state job, giving his name to Tony Rezko, who helped Gov. Blagojevich assemble his Cabinet. Rezko, a former fund-raiser for Obama and Blagojevich, was convicted in June on federal corruption charges tied to state deals.

Even though “patient dumping” was outlawed by President Reagan decades ago, critics have told Hannity that the UHI violates “the spirit of that law, if not the letter.”

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