Posted by Lorren on August 16, 2010
When the debate was raging with regard to the health care bill, Sarah Palin remarked that she feared that nationalized health care could lead to death panels. Obama said that was crazy talk. Never mind that other countries that have nationalized care routinely deny drugs that are too expensive… or that the Netherlands actually encourages the euthanization of certain kinds of infants who would live a severely handicapped life.
Recently, an FDA Advisory panel voted against recommending the drug Avastin for use with breast cancer. They cited “effectiveness” as the reason, but many believe that the real reason is “cost effectiveness”. The drug costs $8,000 a month. A couple of recent studies claim that the drug will extend life for about one month; previous studies concluded that the drug would extend life by five months or more.
Some fear that this could be the start of “death panels” in the United States. Will other recommendations like this follow? Perhaps we will see more cases, like what happened to a woman in Oregon a year or so ago, where a $50 suicide pill was recommended because the state health system refused to pay for the $4000/month treatment that would keep her alive.
Of course, right now, if you have the $8000 a month to pay for the drug, paying for it yourself would be an option, even if the insurance company refuses to pay for it any more. I’m sure that in the future, that will be perceived as unfair. After all, why should the rich have access to life-saving care when nobody else does? Eventually, that option will probably be taken away from the rich (you can’t let them have an unfair advantage, after all).
Preventing illness is going to become more important than ever. I recommend Underground Wellness.com as a resource for learning how to live a healthier life.