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ObamaCare Promise of No Rationing Broken by FDA

Until recently, the implications of ObamaCare were debated in a vacuum. There were allegations and responses, but no results to support either side.  Now that we have entered the implementation phase of ObamaCare, things are becoming more clear.  Many of the bold promises that were offered to sell ObamaCare to the American public were not based in reality.

Taxes increases hit Americans next year and, in many states, they are already seeing health insurance rates increase as a result of ObamaCare. In addition to the Obama Administration promising that insurance rates would not go up, they have also promised that rationing of care would not happen.  But bad things seems to be happening sooner than expected and contrary to explicit promises of this Administration.

This past August, an advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the late stage cancer drug Avastin be “de-labeled” because of cost considerations. It is critical to note, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not propose denying cancer victims the right to the drug because of the safety of the drug, but because of a formula containing cost as factor.  

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) has taken a leadership position on the issue and has written letters to the FDA and expressing concern about “cost rationing.”  Senator Vitter is worried that the Avastin case will be the beginning of ObamaCare rationing for drugs that may extend life.  Rationing for seriously ill patients based on cost.

Should the FDA agree with the advisory panel’s recommendation, private insurers and Medicare will drop coverage for the drug for breast cancer patients, despite the fact that the drug extends life for an average of six months. This is a classic example of why many conservatives are concerned about government run health care.

By using cost as a factor in their decision-making, the FDA has begun the implementation of ObamaCare and breast cancer patients may be its first victim. Politically, this is another disaster for those who voted for health care reform. If this drug, or any other, is denied because of cost, they will be forced to defend the decision.

The FDA has put off a final decision for another 90 days on the future of the drug according to the AP.

Drugmaker Roche said Friday that U.S. health regulators will take more time to review its drug Avastin for breast cancer, a use that has generated vigorous debate among cancer specialists and patients.  The company said in a statement that the Food and Drug Administration extended its review of the drug by 90 days, or until Dec. 17.

This kicks the decision until after the fall Congressional elections.  It will be much easier for the FDA to make a difficult decision after the election removing pressure from Americans who oppose government rationed care.  The American people do not want rationed care and drugs for the seriously ill.

The senior advocacy group 60 Plus released the findings of a new poll that asks people about the FDA basing cancer decisions on cost. Let’s just say, the argument about ObamaCare is no longer theoretical — denial of care will impact lives and the American people know it.

Key findings of the poll include:

  • 56% of registered American voters believe the new healthcare reform law will lead to so-called “rationing” of care;
  • 82% believe that cost-effectiveness is not a justification for rationing;
  • 78% “worry” that the FDA’s revocation represents the “start of healthcare rationing;” and
  • 71% of registered American voters report they would be less likely to vote for any member of Congress who supported the FDA decision on drugs like Avastin. 49% would be “much less likely.”

Will someone have the guts to ask an ObamaCare supporter if breast cancer patients should be denied insurance coverage for Avastinor other life extending drugs?  Will others join Senator Vitter in his fight to protect cancer patients?  With Members of Congress running away from ObamaCare, even members of the President’s party, they are sure to run away from the FDA’s potential decision to deny patients access to a drug that extends the life of seriously ill cancer patients.  This situation is yet another example of why ObamaCare needs to be repealed.

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