Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MedicalConspiracies- Drug Rationing For Seniors Begins

Let's all applaud the ubama affordable GENOCIDE act. Bruce

"That's a betrayal of Medicare's promise of access
to care for our most vulnerable, older Americans."

Drug Rationing For Seniors Begins

Drug Rationing For Seniors Begins â EURO " American Spectator

Buried beneath the avalanche of recent news reports about the latest Obamacare-mandated funding cuts to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program is a related but far more disturbing story â EURO " the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken a major step toward rationing medications to the elderly. Since passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, seniors enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program have been guaranteed access to â EURO oeall or substantially allâ EURO of the drugs in several classes of pharmaceuticals. President Obamaâ EURO (tm)s health care bureaucrats, however, have proposed removing three of these classes from the â EURO oeprotectedâ EURO list.

The New York Times reports, â EURO oeThe administrationâ EURO (tm)s proposal would remove the protected status fromâ EURO | immunosuppressant drugs used in transplant patients, antidepressants and antipsychotic medicines.â EURO Yes, you read that correctly. These are drugs used to facilitate organ transplants and treat patients suffering with mental illness. The Times names a few of the medicines in question: â EURO oeThey include many well-known drugs, such as Wellbutrin, Paxil and Prozac to treat depression, and Abilify and Seroquel to treat schizophrenia.â EURO There can be little doubt that the next step CMS plans to take will involve a decision not to cover the most expensive of these medications at all.

This is why CMS represents this as a cost-saving measure. But the amount of money these changes will save is virtually nothing by Medicare standards. Moreover, as Yevgeny Feyman writes in Forbes, â EURO oeThe likely reduction in therapeutic choices could result in higher health care costs in other parts of the program, like Part A (for hospital care) or Part B (for physician services).â EURO Further undermining the CMS cost-saving claim is that, due to the very market features that make it unpopular with Beltway bureaucrats, the Medicare prescription drug program may be the only federal entitlement in history whose costs have come in below its initial CBO projections.

Nonetheless, the Obama administration didnâ EURO (tm)t lose its affinity for health care rationing when Donald Berwick was forced out of CMS. Rationing is as much about control as it is about money. And this is where the nexus between the CMS drug proposal and Obamacareâ EURO (tm)s MA cuts can be found. Medicareâ EURO (tm)s prescription drug benefits are administered only through Medicare Advantage, and the President as well as his bureaucratic accomplices have been gunning for MA since Obamaâ EURO (tm)s brief pit stop in the Senate. MA introduced private competition and patient choice into Medicare. That cannot be tolerated. Medicare must be wholly returned to their fiscally inept control.

Predictably, the CMS proposal has produced bipartisan protests. As the Times further reports, â EURO oeRepublican and Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee warned that the proposal could â EURO ~diminish access to needed medicationâ EURO (tm) without saving much money.â EURO On February 19, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Senate Finance ranking member Orrin Hatch wrote to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner thus: â EURO oeAs authors of Medicareâ EURO (tm)s successful prescription drug program.â EURO | We are strongly opposed to this proposed regulation.â EURO

The following day, the CMS head received another protest letter from a surprisingly diverse coalition of more than 200 groups, including the AIDS Alliance, the National Kidney Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Community Cancer Centers, the Lupus Foundation of America, the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, the United Way, various hospitals, physician associations, insurance companies and pharmacy chains. The letter warns Tavenner that the rule makes â EURO oeunnecessary changes to programs that are already extraordinarily effectiveâ EURO and that it â EURO oewill impede beneficiariesâ EURO (tm) access to affordable health plans and medicines.â EURO

Even some left-leaning media outlets are uncomfortable with the Obama administrationâ EURO (tm)s rationing policy. In the Huffington Post, Professor Kenneth Thorpe of Emory Universityâ EURO (tm)s Rollins School of Public Health, recently pointed out that the CMS rule â EURO oewill not only fail to rein in Medicareâ EURO (tm)s long-term spending growth, but will inflict severe and unnecessary harm on our nation's poor and elderly who are suffering from serious physical and behavioral illnesses.â EURO Thorpe makes much the same point as does Feyman: â EURO oeRestricting access to the medicines patients need to manage depression, avoid organ transplant rejection, and treat psychosis will drive healthcare utilization in far more costly ways.â EURO

Itâ EURO (tm)s a little disorienting to find such an objective view in a publication that normally repeats Obama administration talking points verbatim, but there it is. Presumably, this departure from partisanship is an indication of just how far CMS has over-reached this time. Most Americans regard health care rationing as repugnant and unnecessary, and we look on it with even less favor when it is imposed on the elderly. As Professor Thorpe writes, â EURO oeThat's a betrayal of Medicareâ EURO (tm)s promise of access to care for our most vulnerable, older Americans.â EURO Well said.

Laura J Alcorn, National Director

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