Patterico's Pontifications


Obama Declares Swine Flu Emergency

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 5:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama has declared a national health emergency to deal with the swine flu outbreak:

President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect noninfected patients.

The declaration, signed Friday night and announced Saturday, comes with the disease more prevalent than ever in the country and production delays undercutting the government’s initial, optimistic estimates that as many as 120 million doses of the vaccine could be available by mid-October.”

The declaration enables hospitals to deal with the increased demand occasioned by more patients:

“Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius now has authority to bypass federal rules when opening alternative care sites, such as offsite hospital centers at schools or community centers if hospitals seek permission.

Some hospitals have opened drive-thrus and drive-up tent clinics to screen and treat swine flu patients. The idea is to keep infectious people out of regular emergency rooms and away from other sick patients.

Hospitals could modify patient rules — for example, requiring them to give less information during a hectic time — to quicken access to treatment, with government approval, under the declaration.

It also addresses a financial question for hospitals — reimbursement for treating people at sites not typically approved. For instance, federal rules do not allow hospitals to put up treatment tents more than 250 yards away from the doors; if the tents are 300 yards or more away, typically federal dollars won’t go to pay for treatment.”

I think this is a good idea. Normally I would have stopped this post here but given President Obama’s continued attacks on his predecessor, I’ll add what Obama would have said if this had been the Bush Administration: Too bad the Administration didn’t do this earlier. After all, a lot of places have been dealing with flu outbreaks for weeks. Where have you been, White House?


27 Responses to “Obama Declares Swine Flu Emergency”

  1. I got a different rub from this. I think it is a backhanded way to drum up support for healthcare reform, and I suspect we will see some angle of that on the Sunday shows. 1,000 H1N1 deaths is horrific, but, 30,000 die from seasonal flu every year. My two cents.

    sybilll (1f51c6)

  2. The timing is suspicious but that doesn’t make it a bad idea, just an idea that took too long to implement.

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  3. My oldest son battled it three weeks ago, along with over half of his class. Fever for three days and a cough – and that’s with borderline asthma. It’s absolutely horrible that some people have died, but national emergency? It’s pretty much done here.

    We are in the Dallas area though. Can’t imagine we hit the radar.

    em (11cf60)

  4. Its pure BS, the CDC does not really know how many of the current flu deaths are H1N1 specific.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  5. There is nothing Crackhead Barry won’t politicize. He needs a hero moment, and he’s grabbing it here, no doubt.

    My son had “the flu”. Temp broke 102, we took him to the emergency room. He is an otherwise healthy young 15 year old, so they got the fever under control and sent him home, albeit with a stay-at-home-for-7-days restriction as a precautiony measure to keep him from spreading what he had. They did not even bother testing for H1N1, since he was not at risk, and they treat both pig flu and the garden variety the same way. He was absolutely fine after three days.

    But as Rahmbo says, never let a good crisis go to waste.

    Matador (e01f85)

  6. For the last 10 days I sure had something — fever, sweating, extreme tiredness, perpetual coughing, sore throat and hoarseness — and as a parting gift, painful, disgusting cold sores.

    I rather hope it was the swine flu, because at least I wouldn’t have to worry about it any more.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  7. I’m sorry you’ve been sick, Bradley. I don’t know if it’s correct but I read that (1) swine flu has a serious fever and (2) the seasonal flu isn’t here yet. If that’s what you had, then now you need to watch out for a secondary infection — especially in your lungs.

    Oh, and the seasonal flu when it finally gets here.

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  8. Americans shouldn’t need the little president man’s permission to move emergency rooms offsite. That’s just sad how you Americans are so scared to take initiative without approval. Y’all won WW2? LOL.

    hf (9bda9c)

  9. Perhaps more accurate as:

    Never let a ginned up, media driven crisis go to waste.

    Matador (e01f85)

  10. How long ’til we get a metric like “created or saved” to show how many lives Teh One saved?

    JD (5f9cc7)

  11. So far in Texas…

    233 hospitalizations and 69 deaths out of a population of 24.9 million. By comparison, in 2007, 3363 people were killed in car accidents in Texas.

    Tell me again how this represents an emergency?

    GaryL (98dfc7)

  12. thanks to the little president man Americans can now get health cares in a tent in a parking lot!!! Yay!

    hf (9bda9c)

  13. In Austin, Dell Childrens Medical Center had to set up tents to take care of all the pediatric swine flu victims. I’m glad they didn’t need a national emergency declaration to do that but apparently other hospitals do. Obviously the better solution is have rules that let hospitals respond creatively when needed, but if an emergency declaration is required to make that happen then I’m all for it.

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  14. DRJ,
    Thank you for the advice and kind encouragement. I’m 98 percent recovered, and will remember your advice about the lungs.

    This seems like other probable flu bouts I’ve had. One of the strangest symptoms is the extremely odd dreams: Deliriously lying half-awake, convinced I was getting news updates, as if my brain were hooked up to the Internet. Then, laboriously reminding myself that wasn’t possible (yet).

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  15. I’m reluctant to embrace the positive.

    hf (9bda9c)

  16. Late vaccines, deaths of children, national emergency.

    I swear I will never do this again, but can you just imagine the hue and cry if Bush were still president?

    And, to be clear, I am in no way blaming the current President for any real or imagined failure on the response to the situation.

    But, I suspect that if Bush — or any other Republican — were President, Olbermann’s, Maddow’s and Matthews’ heads would have already exploded.

    Which bring me to another subject that I won’t bore anyone with tonight.

    Ag80 (815bcd)

  17. Obama Declares Swine Flu Emergency

    In other news, Swine Flu declares Obama an emergency. . .

    Official Internet Data Office (3947a8)

  18. My, how far we’ve come from 6 months ago when this was the Administration’s stance on N1H1:

    Kathleen Sebelius, making her first speech as the US health secretary, said: “We are cautiously optimistic that what we are seeing right now is presenting itself as a much milder virus than the initial cases that presented themselves in Mexico.” There are 403 confirmed cases of swine flu in the US, and so far one death.

    Obama dropped the ball, and now we have a national emergency.

    The Red Pill (5bd2fe)

  19. When three blasts cost a total of 260 American lives, Reagan blamed Carter for leaving U.S. installations in Beirut vulnerable to terrorists.

    That more accurately qualifies as an “attack on a predecessor.”

    steve (e95f7a)

  20. My son got measles as a baby b/c he was exposed to another child at the doctor’s office (they were vaccinating at 18 months back then). Wound up in the hospital, but verything thurned out OK, thank God. Good idea to segregate patents.

    And these idiots like Bill Maher going around telling people not to get vaccinated need to STFU.

    JEA (73988d)

  21. And these idiots like Bill Maher going around telling people not to get vaccinated need to STFU.

    Obama could do a lot of good for the country by delivering that message to Maher and the other anti-vaccine crackpots on the left. It could be Obama’s Sister Souljah moment, if only he had the sense to take it.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  22. I know quite a few people, including their children, who have had the swine flu and have recovered extremely quickly.

    Leela (4cf0e7)

  23. It sometimes seems like they are either testing their ability to scare us, or getting us used to the idea of rushing out by the millions to let the government inject us with something.

    Seems like the Kool Aid dry runs at the Jim Jones compound.

    Going to the extreme: We know that many liberals believe in population control, and that many believe that if Americans would just get out of the way, world socialism could happen. Poisoning (for the purpose of death or sterilization, and Obama’s Science Czar supports mass sterilization) a supply of “vaccine” and convincing the public to line up for it would be a coup for these guys.

    Smarty (3935d0)

  24. When three blasts cost a total of 260 American lives, Reagan blamed Carter for leaving U.S. installations in Beirut vulnerable to terrorists.

    Stop hijacking the thread, Trolly.

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  25. I don’t believe the Swine Flu is a ‘National Emergency’, and I only think this will draw more panic among the public.

    Seems more like a distraction to keep attention from all the other problems that don’t seem to be on their way to being fixed anytime soon.

    Andy (ea2ccf)

  26. This flu is so bad that Barry hasn’t given his kids a flu shot.

    Alta Bob (e8af2b)

  27. Simple, if Obama’s daughters aren’t vaccinated, why should anyone else’s kids be?

    PCD (1d8b6d)

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