Documents: Obama friend Whitaker had history with Jeremiah Wright

Patient dumping describes an unethical practice of hospitals refusing to admit patients based on their inability to pay for health care services. Patient dumping typically involves referring those patients to other hospitals or turning them away entirely. A 1986 federal law requires hospitals that accept Medicare payments to provide emergency treatment to patients who need it, regardless of their financial status.

Jouriles suggested in 2009 that the Obama-allied Chicago program was a scheme money-hungry hospital executives hatched to take advantage of minorities and the poor in Chicago.

“The medical center is reducing emergency care access to its local community, while at the same time, opening a ‘side door’ to a ‘specialty intake area’ to provide emergency care to medical center private patients,” Jouriles said then in a statement. “This is a dangerous precedent that could have catastrophic effects in poor neighborhoods across the country.”

“Congress needs to hold hearings about the problems facing emergency patients. If other community, non-profit hospitals follow this example and shift the lion’s share of resources to its high-revenue elective patients and procedures, it will leave many emergency patients virtually out in the cold. The University of Chicago Medical Center is located in a poor neighborhood whose residents have few, if any, other options for emergency care.”

Though he has attempted to distance himself from Wright since the pastor’s incendiary and divisive ideology was exposed during his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama has kept Whitaker close. Whitaker often golfs with Obama and has been referred to in White House pool reports as the president’s “pal.” Whitaker also occasionally vacations with the first family.

Obama has kept Whitaker professionally close, too. On Monday, White House Dossier reported that the Department of Health and Human Services awarded the Urban Health Initiative a $5.9 million taxpayer grant. It was one of only 26 programs — out of 3,000 applicants — to get any of the $1 billion Obama set aside for his “We Can’t Wait” initiative, which the administration says is aimed at job creation through executive action.

The Department of Health and Human Services denies any White House involvement in the grant award decisions.

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