Prescription for failure: Finding out what’s in Obamacare 2011

This should bring it home a little better than my last post berating the New Health Care Law.

The drug Avastin, which has been very popular amongst oncologists the world over, has lost it’s FDA approval. The reason given about 9 months ago was its cost. The reason today has been left purposefully ambiguous. Make no mistake, it is to save money for bureaucrats making medical decisions.

For this reason alone, and we really don’t need another, this law should be repealed at our earliest possible date.

This is a perfect example of the results of attempting to social engineer a commodity. Whether we wish to realize it or not, health care is a commodity. Attempts to pretend it is not will simply result in artificial shortages. I understand the arguments for compassion to fix our health care system, and I agree with that sentiment. The current law will not fix the system. It will only create greater hardships for which to feel even greater need for compassion. The best way to fix the societal problems which cause the tears of the left is to allow the free markets to do what they do best, and that is to work freely of bureaucratic intervention. This is merely the first salvo. Those, “Death Panels,” which resulted in a lot of fun being poked at Sarah Palin are being demonstrated right here with this drug. Now, I am not a doctor, and I don’t know the first thing about this drug, but I do know that actual doctors want to be able to continue prescribing it. That is enough for me.

By the way, how long until they get around to cutting costs on medical procedures? How long until they cut costs by denying treatment for our elderly for being too old to worry about. My parents are in their 70’s. The new law gives power to a bureaucrat to deny treatment if the determination is made that it wouldn’t add an appreciable amount of time and quality of life to them. What is that going to look like? What if my parent’s bureaucrats are cold heartless people, or just in a bad mood that day? We should have read this Law before passing it. There is still time to convince our Congress Critters to reverse this illconceived course.

UPDATE: There have been some folks who have stated that the FDA decision has nothing to do with cost. So here is an article from the Washington Post from August of this year to dispel that myth.

UPDATE II: Get a look at what our future looks like, with this article appearing in a British news paper.

Republished with permission from Finding out whats in it! Part II at Mad Musings of a Conservative.

11 Comments
  1. Fantastic expose of the hypocrisy. We’re a stones throw from one another, how about a beer some time?

  2. When you got to wikipedia, did you get to the cost part? For say colorectal cancer, you get MAYBE a 5 month extension of morbidity with an average cost of $40-50,000, you got $10,000 a month to spare? And another bit, pre-Obamacare, insurance companies were already denying coverage of this drug. So the death panels you’re talking about are from Kaiser, UHC, blue shield, etc. So basically, you not only lost the point, but your point scored in favor of Obamacare.

    1. This is a ridiculously overpriced drug, agreed. If I was in in that industry I would try to synthesize my own copy of the product and undercut them by half (I’d still be making a mint and being half as douchey). With insurance companies footing the bill, the result was coverage rejection because they were inadvertantly punishing an abusive monopoly… with government footing the bill, they’ll just censor the drugs out of existence for the masses and make them a state secret only available to high ranking officials that need it.

      I don’t see how that makes the case for Obamacare in the slightest.

      1. So far, it’s still private companies denying insurance, no bureaucrats involved (well, the FDA is getting involved, but their thing is they want more testing, and genentech won’t spring for the tests). Medicare/medicaid isn’t involved, because under part D, they don’t spring for drugs at all (that’s why you have a lot of part D coverage health insurance ads). So again, until there’s actual bureaucrats talking, why does this get pinned on the bill that’s trying to actually prevent this issue (badly, since single payer got thrown out the window to make the GOP happy)? I could give you the answer, but that would Godwin things.

        1. I agree totally with the sentiment that we need to do something about health care in America, but this law ain’t it. this Law will only make those things that are wrong so much worse. Yes the drug seems expensive, but there is an economics of the drug companies here that is very complex. A drug such as Avastin costs the drug companies about $20 Billion in research and development before they’ve produced their first batch. The drugs are very expensive to produce at the beginning of their life cycle, and are able to be brought down in price as they are used more, (think Wal-Mart and economies of scale.) The best example of this would be the Aids medications. There was a time when the current drug coctail which was used to treat Aids patients had a cost of about $2500 per month. That was only about 15 years ago. Today, that same coctail is about $1.60 per day. This coctail of medications is capable of extending the life expectancy of Aids patients to the point of Aids being listed as a Chronic Illness, and no longer considered terminal. Yes the private insurers sometimes deny coverage, but for things they were not contracted to cover. The number 1 denier of claims however remains the Medicaid system. The very people you wish to put in charge of everything. Yes the single payer system was thrown out, but only temporarily. Health insurers are jumping ship quickly, as the cost of this bill is prohibitive to doing business. This was the intent all along. As for how long Avastin is effective, this argument is a little simplistic. Neither of us are Doctors, and don’t understand if it is being used in conjunction with other treatments to increase the efficacy of both. All I do know is that the Oncologists in this country, (the guys providing the health care,) are upset by this. I’ll take their word for it.

          Steve, a beer sometime would be great.

  3. Keep repeating the Big Lie, maybe it’ll become true. Medicare/medicaid refuses ALL prescription drug payments, as they aren’t covered under either medicare or medicaid. Prescription drugs are covered under separate insurance, called part D coverage, which is up to an individual insurer to set terms for, and an individual insured to choose the part D plan that they wish to pay for. The government MAY help you with part D insurance payments if you qualify based on income guidelines.

    1. O.K., I’m not certain which big lie your’re referring to here. Please explain it further. Also, please note that as someone who actually holds a Life, Health, and Variable Annuity License in the state of Ohio, I am very familiar with how Medicare, Medigap, Medicaid, and Insurance work. I was not referring to Part D coverage.

      1. That medicare actually refuses to pay for only some drugs. medicare doesn’t pay for drugs, period. Medicare not paying for Avastin sounds really bad, until you realize that unless it’s part of inpatient care, even good old fashioned aspirin is also not paid for by medicare. So do tell me again how it’s the GOVERNMENT that’s running the death panels here.

        1. You’ve made a leap here to something I never stated. That is called a strawman argument. I never said that it was the responsibility for Medicare, or Medicaid to pay for Avastin. I stated that Avastin lost its approval from the FDA, which means that private insurers will no longer be paying for it. The decision was made based on the economics of Obamacare. So, only the privledged few of government elites and the extremely wealthy will have access to this drug if a doctor feels it is the best option available. So, once again, the very people we are told to hate benefit, and the people we are told the government is protecting, are being screwed.

  4. Okay, this has gotten beyond bullshit. The FDA has no say whatsoever in the cost of a drug, only whether it’s approved or not for use in the US. No “privileged few”, NOBODY IN THE US AT ALL. And this approval needs tests, tests that the FDA wasn’t satisfied with, so they asked Genentech to do more testing, WHICH GENENTECH REFUSED. This has nothing to do with Obamacare, it would have happened the exact same way for the last five decades. It’s an open question whether or not the FDA is overstepping its bounds by asking for the tests, there is NO question whatsoever that the FDA is doing exactly what we asked it to do, which is to ensure the safety of all foods and drugs sold within the reach of US law. Don’t even talk about strawmen when your entire case is the largest strawman of all, that of the fact that the problems with Avastin have anything at all to do with Obamacare.