In our recent Liberty Update, CFIF sounded the alarm on Gigi Sohn, Joe Biden's dangerously extremist…
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Former U.S. Attorney General Agrees: "Hyperpartisan Gigi Sohn Doesn't Belong at the FCC"

In our recent Liberty Update, CFIF sounded the alarm on Gigi Sohn, Joe Biden's dangerously extremist nominee to the Federal Commission (FCC), noting that, "Ms. Sohn is simply too radical to be confirmed to the FCC at a time when Americans rely more than ever on a thriving internet service sector, and the Biden Administration has only itself to blame for its delay in nominating her."

In today's Wall Street Journal, former acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker brilliantly echoes the growing consensus that Ms. Sohn is simply too radical in a commentary entitled "Hyperpartisan Gigi Sohn Doesn't Belong on the FCC":

In addition to her hyperpartisan social-media presence, Ms. Sohn has dubbed Fox News 'state-sponsored propaganda' and has urged the FCC to look into whether Sinclair…[more]

December 01, 2021 • 11:55 AM

Liberty Update

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Life and Death Choice Print
By Betsy McCaughey
Thursday, December 22 2016
Whatever comes after Obamacare should guarantee patients more hospital choices.

Going to a hospital is taking your life in your hands. New research shows patients treated at the worst hospitals are three times as likely to die as patients with the same health problem treated at the best hospitals. Yet most people pick a hospital based on convenience, a friend's recommendation or where their doctor practices.

In fact, your doctor won't even be treating you. An in-house physician called a "hospitalist" who has never met you will take over. That's why you need to find out which hospital has a track record of success in treating your problem.

According to the new research, getting the facts on hospital quality is especially important if you have heart problems. Go to the wrong hospital with a heart attack  what doctors call an acute myocardial infarction  and your risk of survival is cut by more than half.

Also beware of huge differences in patient safety. Research shows that patients have a 10 times higher risk of getting a bloodstream infection at certain hospitals.

If you live on New York's Upper East Side and need bypass surgery or a new heart valve, where do you go? Mount Sinai Hospital is rated eighth in the nation in cardiology and heart surgery, according to U.S. News & World Report. That website rates hospitals all across the nation, and it's free.

Consumer's Checkbook, also gives Mount Sinai a top rating five stars  for bypass and valve surgery.

That's a far cry from ANOTHER Upper East Side hospital, Lenox Hill, which gets only average scores from U.S. News for valve and bypass surgery, and only one star from Consumer's Checkbook. On the other hand, Lenox Hill gets five stars for gall bladder surgery. It pays to know what type of care you need.

If you're in Los Angeles and develop heart problems, you're likely better off at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, rated 10th in the nation in cardiology by U.S. News, rather than St. Vincent's Medical Center, which gets below average marks for heart valve and bypass surgery.

What about suburban hospitals? Stamford Hospital and Greenwich Hospital, both in Connecticut, are considered "high performing" by U.S. News for treating heart failure and COPD. Greenwich gets far better ratings for hip replacement surgery than Stamford, but still isn't tops. Back in the city, look at Hospital for Special Surgery, rated No. 1 in the nation for orthopedics.

Stamford and Greenwich hospitals earn A ratings from Leapfrog, which grades hospitals on patient safety. As many as 440,000 patients a year die in the U.S. from medical errors, injuries, and infections caused by the hospital. Yikes. Yet New York City's most prestigious medical centers get only C grades for safety. Hospitals in cities like Boston, Hartford and Chicago do far better.

Check Leapfrog's safety grades, too, if you're having a baby, because safety is important. Rating sites don't grade hospitals specifically for childbirth. Even if you're anticipating an uncomplicated birth, make sure the hospital has a NICU  neonatal intensive care unit  for special medical care. Also consider the nurse-to-patient ratio and whether you can get a private room for a good night's sleep.

Aside from happy moments of childbirth, being hospitalized is generally stressful. Even worse once you discover your doctor is AWOL. About three quarters of hospitals now use hospitalists, doctors paid by hospitals to supervise patient care. The upside is hospitalists are on-site. The downside is they don't know you from Adam or your medical history, and can't provide continuity of care once you leave the hospital.

All the more reason to choose your hospital carefully. But unfortunately, Obamacare plans don't allow you that choice. Many of the plans force you into just one hospital in your region. Whatever comes after Obamacare should guarantee patients more hospital choices. Your life could depend on it.


Betsy McCaughey is chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths.  

Quiz Question   
How many gun purchase background checks were processed by the FBI during Thanksgiving Week 2021?
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Notable Quote   
"If you're still wondering why raising the cap on the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction was important enough to Democrats to sacrifice their stated principles and resort to brazen gimmicks in order to fit it into the reconciliation bill, look no further than the latest release of the IRS's tax migration data, covering tax years 2018-2019.The data shows that certain states continue to alienate their…[more]
—Andrew Wilford, Policy Analyst at National Taxpayers Union Foundation
— Andrew Wilford, Policy Analyst at National Taxpayers Union Foundation
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