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August 17, 2010

Is there nothing that Obama can't do?

He doesn't need the independents. He doesn't need the coal states and he doesn't need the hard left.

Now he doesn't need women.

I guess that leaves Obama and the Dems with the under 30's, blacks and illegal immigrants; sounds like majority to me.

Cheers,
lance

Postscript: Eliminating a "last hope" drug that combats breast cancer for cost reasons would make the FDA a death panel, no?

Posted by lance at August 17, 2010 7:07 PM
Comments

"People...
 People who don't need people...
 ...are the luckiest people in the world!"

Posted by: Garth Wood at August 17, 2010 7:31 PM

Somewhere, Jimmy Carter, feeling redeemed, is smiling, laughing, dancing a little jig perhaps.

Posted by: Fred at August 17, 2010 7:34 PM

November approaches....

Posted by: sasquatch at August 17, 2010 7:47 PM

All he needs is a limp wristed federal judge to declare him the winner.

Posted by: Pissedoff at August 17, 2010 8:07 PM

what has happened to the Watts up with that web site. I've been trying to get on to it all day with no luck? Sorry for going of topic.

Posted by: adrian smits at August 17, 2010 8:11 PM

Notice they started the death panel on Women's health issues?
Ten years ago this would have been unthinkable. Sharia is having its subtle influence in the White House down.
JMO

Posted by: Revnant Dream at August 17, 2010 8:45 PM

"under 30's, blacks and illegal immigrants"

That can be a majority if they vote often enough.

Posted by: dvmrtns at August 17, 2010 8:53 PM


Has B. Hussien been "Touched by Tommy" ?

Posted by: marc in calgary at August 17, 2010 8:54 PM

Yeah, and prostate cancer never killed no-one. There are all these studies that show prostate cancer is over treated. One urologist said "I don't know how they do the math on that, but I know I don't miss the hospital ward being always full of men dying of it."

Posted by: tim in vermont at August 17, 2010 9:06 PM

Don't tell them that mice live longer if you starve them, otherwise it will be scientific feeding next.

Posted by: tim in vermont at August 17, 2010 9:07 PM

Tim, not all prostate cancer takes forever to kill you. Some strains are pretty swift and can metastasize anywhere. Work there, seen it.

Posted by: Texas Canuck at August 17, 2010 9:26 PM

Don't think of them as Death Panels. Think of them as Federal Carbon-Footprint Reduction Guidance Programs.

Posted by: Black Mamba at August 17, 2010 9:40 PM

Let's not get too carried away here. The article notes several points: first that it is a political drug fastracked through the approval system by Congressional pressure; and second that its value is questionable.

There's a reason for the regime of clinical trial process. It's called thalidomide. Every time you violate the testing protocol you are running a risk of not catching side effects of drugs, particularly those which only manifest over the long term. In short, this drug may never have been a legitimate product in the first place as it never seems to have passed through the supposedly mandatory trials.

Finally, every decision we make about providing or not providing certain kinds of health services is one of life or death for someone. The question is where's the cutoff. What value is placed on saving a life? Do I spend $1 billion per life saved over here, or do I spend $200 per life saved over there? Until we've done all the low cost stuff, it's senseless to waste money on very high cost rare stuff.

It's called risk assessment, and it's the only way to make rational decisions about life and death in a world where resources are always limited.

Posted by: cgh at August 17, 2010 9:42 PM

Don't think of them as "Death Panels," think of them as saving social security.

Posted by: tim in vermont at August 17, 2010 9:42 PM

Is he starting a Draft Hilary campaign? No worship, no progress, no real advancements, getting bored with vacations and golf. Yep find the lug a uni to retire in and write his 25 page Presidential library.

Posted by: Speedy at August 17, 2010 9:45 PM

"It's called risk assessment, and it's the only way to make rational decisions about life and death in a world where resources are always limited"

Thank you Mr Death Panel. But I would just as soon the govt stay out of such decisions. When the govt is involved, politics come into play. I will take my chances in a free market, thanks. You can say it is rationed anyway, but that is just perversion of the word. What you really mean is that you don't have power over the decision.

Posted by: tim in vermont at August 17, 2010 9:45 PM

No that would make it more rational. Giving Genentech $80k for something that doesn't work is not a last hope its stupid.

Posted by: Bill H at August 17, 2010 9:46 PM

By the way, the use of the term "death panel" adds precisely nothing to the debate. It is used only to obfuscate the issues by stirring up emotions. There was a time when only liberals used this tactic but alas now conservatives have adopted it.

There are plenty of reasons to disagree with the healthcare bill. Death panels is not one of them.

Posted by: Bill H at August 17, 2010 9:56 PM

Imam-O-Bamma and Mooch-elle have to go.

UGH!

Posted by: zilla at August 17, 2010 10:09 PM

Michelle Obama's Spanish vacation saved or created 3,472 jubs.

Posted by: set you free at August 17, 2010 10:12 PM

'balance of power' certainly means something brand new thesetimes....the old point de bascule made fleash.

Posted by: john begley at August 17, 2010 10:20 PM

"Michelle Obama's Spanish vacation saved or created 3,472 jobs."

Yes. In Spain.

Posted by: The Phantom at August 17, 2010 10:37 PM

Let's work it the other way around: none of the groups mentioned need Obama.

Posted by: Osumashi Kinyobe at August 17, 2010 10:44 PM

Bill H

Would "Rationed Care Group" accord with your sensibilities.
Take off the PC hat, & call this for what it is.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at August 17, 2010 11:02 PM

Don't think of them as death panels. Think of them as a way for important politically well-connected people to get access to the expensive medicines you never will:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/politics/state/stories/DN-texwatch_15nat.ART.State.Bulldog.365449b.html

(via Ace of Spades HQ)

Posted by: Black Mamba at August 17, 2010 11:51 PM

Now will the Democrats and their MSM Presstitute mouthpieces make public apologies to Sarah Palin for their nastiness to her she predicted death panels during the Obama "Healthcare Reform" (aka socialized medicine) debates?

Posted by: Dave in Pa at August 18, 2010 12:16 AM

Dave in Pa - nope.

Posted by: Black Mamba at August 18, 2010 12:33 AM

This is just the tip of a very rude awaking.

I always tell my american counterparts that: yes we have 'free' health-care, but its rationed. If the ledger says there is 1000 mri's this quarter hope like hell you don't need the 1001st.

How many expensive treatments don't make it on the approved treatment lists in Canada due to costs?

Every Canadian gets a Volkswagen of heath-care, problem is I'm tired of paying Cadillac taxes.

Posted by: duffman at August 18, 2010 2:07 AM

yes we have 'free' health-care, but its rationed.

So the quality of care depends on where you live. If you live in a sick percapita province where there's a lot of competition for the available care then yer screwed if you're as sick as the rest.

problem is I'm tired of paying Cadillac taxes.

Then you're not doing it right.

Posted by: John Galt at August 18, 2010 4:38 AM

"By the way, the use of the term "death panel" adds precisely nothing to the debate."

Really? When the govt declares a monopoly on health care, they decide who lives and who dies. You can say that this is more "rational," but I would make the argument that I wouldn't want, for example, the govt of the City of Chicago deciding what treatments I got, because, guess what? It will be rational alright, it will be after the rational consideration of the best interests of the politicians involved.

At least market based health care doesn't involve this kind of monopoly power.

Posted by: tim in vermont at August 18, 2010 5:57 AM

And Bill H, I am sure that you are all for the US FDA having its mission corrupted by the financial bests interests of the US govt.

This is how Chernobyl happened. The Govt ran the plant, fined them for the safety violations, then they petitioned the same govt for the money to pay the fines. Worked out great, didn't it?

Problem is that you don't want to hear any of these arguments, what you want is to control the decisions so that they can be more "rational." In other words, you want to control everybody's life because you think you can do it better. It's a disease, and America is going through the fever right now that will cure us of it.

Posted by: tim in vermont at August 18, 2010 6:02 AM

Thalidomide is the rallying cry of all FDA fans - a legitimate win for the FDA and some children of pregnant women of the sixties.

What is never mentioned or examined by FDA proponents is how many good drugs took way to long to reach the market and how many patients suffered or died in the process of waiting for an FDA approval?

If the FDA has any role at all, it should be only to provide an opinion on drug safety, not efficacy.

Posted by: Dr Strangelove at August 18, 2010 6:40 AM

So I am geting prepared to take my wife, who is in the last stages of MS, to a clinic in Mexico.

To get treatment that is completely non-invasive, has been perfomed for countless years in Canada, but what the Canadian medical establishment has termed, when related to MS, as "experimental"

Rather than drawing down on the hundreds of thousands that I have paid in taxes over the years, I am spending $20,000.00 in an effort to save my wife's life.

Isn't socialism grand...

Posted by: Bruce at August 18, 2010 6:58 AM

Heh, nice swerve and dodge on the issue, Tim. Your reference to the free market simply means that the very rich get coddled while the not-so-rich get denied even basic amenities. In the interest of saving hundreds, your approach dooms millions. So who's Dr. Death now?

Your lauding of the free market for this is wonderful. Maybe you can then explain why, having the most so-called market forces involved in public health of any western industrial nation, the US health system has the highest cost per capita and the poorest results?

And of course you avoid the quality control issues over drug approval procedures. For your information, the market only works when all participants have full and accurate information, but all participants never have full and accurate information, so its solutions are by definition imperfect. How do you know that the product you are buying on the market will actually do what some salesman says it will?

So Duffman, the question for you is, how many inexpensive treatments don't get done because the system is preoccupied with providing expensive treatments for a few? Has it occurred to you that for all your complaints about taxes you may still not be paying the full cost of the health care treatment you need?

I gave you lot a reasoned argument, and you came back with hysteria and emotion. Quite right, BillH, there are many reasons to dislike the US health care legislation, but this lot has got nothing except ranting and mob demagoguery.

Posted by: cgh at August 18, 2010 8:53 AM

All he needs is a limp wristed federal judge to declare him the winner.

Yeah. I'm surprised the left hasn't tried this yet.

the US health system has the highest cost per capita and the poorest results?

Hm. I'm not a math major, but reports indicate the survival rates for cancer are better in the US than they are in Europe, which has lots of socialized medicine. (http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2007/09/surviving-cancer-us-vs-europe.html)

As in Europe’s survival rates are lower than in the US, where 66.3 per cent of men and 62.9 per cent of women survive for five years, compared with 47.3 per cent of European men and 55.8 per cent of women.

Just saying.

Posted by: Amy P. at August 18, 2010 9:26 AM

cgh:

" the US health system has the highest cost per capita"

Let me take a wee poke at this.

1 Medical education for doctors is NOT subsidized for students, they actually pay for it on their own. Therefore they gwork to pay off their expenses and are compensated accordingly. Because that is what it costs.

2 Tort law, the litigious nature of the US and the "stick it to the rich hospital and Doctors" give litigants lottery type compensation mentality of US jury system.

3 The excessively high cost of malpractice insurance as a result of the above.

4. The US has the highest number of the latests technology for diagnosis and treatment per capita in the world. MRI's. Cscans, PET scans, the most advanced equipment et all are very expensive.

thats just off the top of my head before my first coffee....

Posted by: The Grey Lady at August 18, 2010 9:45 AM

"So Duffman, the question for you is, how many inexpensive treatments don't get done because the system is preoccupied with providing expensive treatments for a few"

Really? There is a limit? If health care is considered part of the private economy, it efficiently grows to meet the needs, who cares what percent of our GDP it costs? If I would rather have my wife around for a couple more months than a Japanese car, why is that wrong? if Health Care is part of the govt, it becomes a zero sum game where winners and losers are decided by the govt, which is why you guys are obsessed with percentage of GDP we spend.

BTW, how many inexpensive services are denied when a hospital forks over big money to cover its "carbon footprint"?

All of your points are debatable, and a matter of your opinion, but here is one where I would really like to know how you resolve the paradox:

In your own words: "...the market only works when all participants have full and accurate information, but all participants never have full and accurate information, so its solutions are by definition imperfect."

So the govt has "full and accurate" information? So govt decisions are made without regard for politics based on what is best in each case? What kind of dream world do you live in? How many mandates come down from the govt that have perverse consequences locally, and which never would have been decided that way locally?

Whole areas of literature and movies are dedicated to the meme that the govt, in the form of the military, makes centralized decisions that the locals, spunky commander, whatever, saves the day by ignoring central command and doing what is right.

Posted by: tim in vermont at August 18, 2010 9:58 AM

Tim in Vermont said "Really? When the govt declares a monopoly on health care, they decide who lives and who dies."

The use race to decide who can and can't get an education.
They use race to decide who can and can't get a job.
They are putting judges in place who will make guilty/not guilty verdicts using race as a determining factor.
I have a bad feeling about the criteria that the "death panels" will be using to decide who lives or dies.

Posted by: gord at August 18, 2010 10:18 AM

cgh

I've got no issue with what you say so long as an individual has the right to opt out, keep their money and fend for themselves. Your argument about per-capita costs and outcomes is incorrect. Americans have better outcomes and get better service for their $$. Your argument that "everyone else is doing it" is crap and you know it.

Keep in mind I'm not speaking to this specific drug, I'm speaking in general.

Posted by: Indiana Homez at August 18, 2010 11:11 AM

Revnant Dream

Yes, I would prefer the term "rationing." This is not about "PC." Words frame the argument and the argument is over before it begins when you use words like "death panel." It is sort of like calling conservative ideas "facist."

tim in vermont

I would prefer it if the FDA were a recommendation body like UL not an approval body. But the way the US healthcare system works is this: once the FDA approves a drug it essentially obligates insurance carriers to pay for the drug. So a company like Genetech can charge whatever they want for for the drug, patients demand it, and doctors who get resell the drug to patient with a 10% mark up are all to eager to provide it.

Incidently I used to work at Genentech and still work in the healthcare field so I am very aware of how this all works.

There are a whole lot of ex-Genentech employees who made a fortune on their Genentech stock options by exploiting this very borken healthcare system.

Posted by: Bill H at August 18, 2010 11:27 AM

Posted by: Bruce at August 18, 2010 6:58 AM

It's disgusting the extremes that socialized medicine forces people to take to care for their loved ones. Even worse is the preening self-promotion that ours is "the best healthcare system in the world".

Except for when you really need it.

G0dspeed to you and your wife, Bruce. I really hope it works out for the two of you.

mhb23re
at gmail d0t calm

Posted by: mhb at August 18, 2010 11:31 AM

Good luck to your wife and yourself Bruce...I hope you have some success.

Posted by: mecheng at August 18, 2010 12:12 PM

"So Duffman, the question for you is, how many inexpensive treatments don't get done because the system is preoccupied with providing expensive treatments for a few? Has it occurred to you that for all your complaints about taxes you may still not be paying the full cost of the health care treatment you need?"

Only in a rationed system does that choice need to be made for all. In a system where I'm free to pay-for or insure against expensive treatments that choice is never a question for me.

If I develop a rare cancer whose treatment isn't covered by the Canadian system due to cost constraints, Im sure the fact thousands of people got to see their doctor about their coughs and stubbed toes will be of great comfort as I die.

As to if I ever truly pay for my healtcare I'd argue that as a upper-middle class one of the few that will. There is only one consumer and one taxpayer, no matter where you think that money comes from the truth is it comes from Canadians like me, who pay multiple tens of thousand dollars a year in direct taxes and another few tens of thousands in indirect taxes via higher costs.

I look to my counter parts in the US, doing the same job for similar lifestyles, yet they get MRI's next day, specialists the same week and surgery right away. Perhaps its not fair the history majors and highschool drop outs, but when it comes to my health and the health of my family I don't mind being selfish.

Posted by: duffman at August 18, 2010 12:15 PM

I watched one of those cheezy "true stories of the ER" type shows on a U.S. channel a while back.

The patient presented with mysterious symptoms that baffled the ER doctors. Fortunatley, a doctor coming on shift recalled an extremely rare condition that might apply. They scheduled an MRI and a few other tests which were done within the hour. 1 1/2 hours after the results were in the patient was in surgery for a very complex operation. Total time elapsed from patient arrival to completion of tests, diagnosis and successful operation....about 7-8 hours.

Let's try that in Canada:

Wait in emergency to be pre-screened: 4-8 hours
Wait for MRI and additional tests: 3-5 months
Wait for results of tests: 1 month
Wait for appointment with specialist: 3-5 months
Wait for surgery: 5 months to a year
Wait for opening at funeral home: 1 day

Posted by: Robert at August 18, 2010 1:06 PM

Tim in Vt:

If health care is considered part of the private economy, it efficiently grows to meet the needs, who cares what percent of our GDP it costs?

Tim, surely you realize how fatuous this comment is. The demand for health care is infinite; only a very tiny percentage of people actually want to die, suffer from heart disease, lung cancer, etc. (Of course, a rather large percentage of people won't stop smoking or eating bad food, or start exercising, but I digress..) As we've seen in Canada, we could easily triple health care spending, and still have people complaining about 2-3 hour waits (instead of 6-12 hours) in the ER, or 3 month waits (instead of 6-9) for a knee replacement, or 2-3 day waits (instead of 2-3 weeks) for an MRI, etc.

In Canada, health care is rationed with queues (with my usual rant about how the privileged routinely skip them taken as read); in the US, it's rationed on an either/or basis - either you have the insurance/money to pay for top notch care, or you don't get it. In neither case is the need "efficiently" met.

Posted by: KevinB at August 18, 2010 1:08 PM

Amy, life expectancy is lower in the US than any other OECD nation. That's a poorer outcome.

Duffman, no one has perfect information, but you should agree that the government has more information about health across the nation than any one individual.

KevinB, you are correct, you can ration health care by cues, or by wealth because as you correctly point out, demand is infinite.

Indiana, I can accept in general principles the 'right to opt out'. But opting out means opting out all the way; that means paying full freight on that emergency trip to the hospital. And there's a problem. Public health protection does not allow opting out. You do not have the right to be a plague carrier or have your children without modern vaccine treatment, because you or they then constitute a risk to all the rest of us. So even opting out still has some mandatory state protection controls.

Or is anyone here going to defend Jenny McCarthy's peculiar form of insanity?

I made no argument at all about 'everyone else is doing it'. The fact is that all national healthcare systems are different while sharing some common features.

Kevin, there's a further point to your argument. By allowing purely market forces to drive health care, you end up with a large, sick impoverished portion of the population. Their infections, diseases and malnourishment results in worse outcomes for everyone including the affluent. What Tim is advocating is nothing more than a recreation of the Calcutta slums.

Posted by: cgh at August 18, 2010 1:29 PM

I've seen more impressive death panels on surfers' hearses.

Posted by: ebt at August 18, 2010 1:53 PM

I've seen more impressive death panels on surfers' hearses.

Posted by: ebt at August 18, 2010 1:53 PM

cgh,

the government may have more information on health-care as a general term but I can guarantee no one knows my health better then myself. And that is the fundamental difference between a socialist's view and a free marketers view. I want a system where I can make choices for MY health. YOU want a system where THEY can make choices of OUR health.

Posted by: duffman at August 18, 2010 2:11 PM

Robart at 1:06 pm,

Surely some of your concerns about the gross disparity between US and Canadian Healthcare delivery times can be assuaged by the notion dogs and cats in Canada receive immediate treatments and surgeries for their ailments - just like people do in the USA.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove at August 18, 2010 2:32 PM

cgh - "Duffman, no one has perfect information, but you should agree that the government has more information about health across the nation than any one individual."

True, but individuals in the aggregate have far more information than the government does because government is not efficient. You know how sick you are, and there's at least as good a chance that you have a smart idea about what treatment you need as some bureacrat does; anyway it's your life, so it should be your call, not his. Also, remember that the government doesn't love you and doesn't have any actual interest in keeping you alive, unless, say, you're a very generous donor to a political party. In fact, from a financial standpoint, by the time you're old enough to be seriously sick the government almost certainly has an interest in getting you dead. Nothing personal, of course, but Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, you know.

As Mark Steyn - we're all very keen on Mark Steyn around here - has pointed out, once your civilization has advanced to the point where you're routinely taking basic germ theory into account then you've pretty much driven down the infant mortality stats. to the point where they're not significant; assuming you're not engaged in civil war or starving any pesky minorities to death, your mortality rates are going to average out at pretty much just under 80 years.

According to Wikipedia, for 2005-2010, life expectancy in the U.S. was 78.2 years. In Canada it's 80.7. Albania has 76.4 - yes Albania, where, as P.J. O'Rourke once memorably put it, a person's health care plan consists of swimming to Italy.

FYI - Canada has a much lower black and hispanic populations than America does; these populations' lifestyles tend to be unhealthy, and this probably accounts for the 2.5 year life expectancy difference between the U.S. and Canada.

Oh, right, um... RACISM!!!

Posted by: Black Mamba at August 18, 2010 2:44 PM

And all the best, Bruce.

Posted by: Black Mamba at August 18, 2010 2:49 PM

Bill H
I can't wait till you tell me what you would use for Euthanasia or Suicide by stranger.
The debate is about the very panels where talking about. Palin was right. You speak in stark terms. Ones that don't fuzz meanings. As for calling Conservatives fascists. Thats all the left think we are. That, & racists.
Fact is Bill the left uses language to muddy the debate to enhance there position through changing the meanings of key concepts, words stand for. The more they twist definitions the more straw men they build. The more they take the sting out of evil.
JMO

Posted by: Revnant Dream at August 18, 2010 2:50 PM

cgh

Point taken.

There are numerous solutions that could accommodate most interests. Unfortunately (in Canada) health care is so politicized that most options that would increase choice and relieve stress on the system are dismissed purely on ideological grounds. This is why the discussion is always reduced to extremes (on both sides), just as the American and Canadian system are the two extremes on both sides of the argument.

All of that said, judging from my life experience, and those of friends and families, given the opportunity I would choose to "opt out" and fend for myself(and my family).

Posted by: Indiana Homez at August 18, 2010 2:57 PM

Dr Strangelove

Yep. Fluffy, FooFoo and Fido have got it made in Canada. I'm sure all those lefties and statists vociforously defending our decrepit government health care system would advocate state health care for Rover and friends too if not for the fact that pet ownership is a form of slavery. don't ya know. PETA likes to say "Animals are people too". Good thing they're not or they'd be languishing on the waiting lists with the rest of us.

Posted by: Robert at August 18, 2010 3:02 PM

Amy, life expectancy is lower in the US than any other OECD nation. That's a poorer outcome.

Socialized medicine is still a great system for people who never get sick. I'd rather have 66% survival rates for cancer and the freedom to pay for my own treatments, thankyouverymuch.

Posted by: Amy P. at August 18, 2010 3:04 PM

Duff

pithy comments:)

RD

well said

Posted by: Indiana Homez at August 18, 2010 3:06 PM

Bruce, I'm truly sorry for your troubles. I wish you and your wife Godspeed.

Posted by: lookout at August 18, 2010 3:24 PM

cgh,

You obviously didn't read the story, either. Avastin is the most common cancer drug in the world. It is used for lung, kidney, colon, brain, and other cancers. According to the Susan G Komen Foundation, the reason Avastin has relatively low averages is that it is EXCEPTIONALLY effective in 30-50% of cases and ineffective in the rest. For the cases where it's effective it limits cancer growth for months or even years. Wouldn't it be nice for that 30-50% to have the option of living for years?

Scuttling this program, btw, is also killing the fastrack process of using Avastin for ovarian cancer.

Which term do you prefer, cgh, "useless eaters" or "ballast existences"?

Posted by: Ella at August 18, 2010 7:37 PM

"Tim, surely you realize how fatuous this comment is. The demand for health care is infinite; " - KevinB

Kind of like the demand for food? If the demand is high, the market will meet it, people will have jobs meeting the demand, and people will pay their money willingly for a service they desire.

You can't get outside of the idea of the govt paying for it, and therefore having an interest in limiting it. What makes the provision of health care different than food production?

Posted by: tim in vermont at August 18, 2010 8:35 PM

"If the demand is high, the market will meet it..."

Only in a free market system. In canuckistan, where the government is the only game in town, the false concept that healthcare is "free" raises demand to stratospheric levels, and with limited government funding/resources, shortages (rationing) must occur.

Contrast this to a true free market system, where there are profits to be made by providing healthcare services. With more competition, prices will reach a market norm, balancing supply/demand. If prices are unnaturally high, you will get surplus of services, and if they are too low (as in govt mandated fees) then again, you will get shortages.

It's no different than any other item or service; if McDonalds suddenly offered free hamburgers, it'd be only a matter of time before they ran out. Simple supply/demand principles; people just don't want to accept the facts because it involves healthcare, and - of course - in canada, it's your "right" to free healthcare.

So we end up with the 2nd rate system we have.

mhb23re at gmail d0t calm

Posted by: mhb at August 18, 2010 9:51 PM

JMO says:

"I can't wait till you tell me what you would use for Euthanasia or Suicide by stranger."

I would call that murder.

And I call selling $80,000 worth of drug that does not work to a dying breast cancer patient who is deperately clinging to life fraud.

What do you call call it?

Of course someone else is paying the $80k tab so what does the breast cancer patient care. However, the result is that some cannot afford health insurance and therefore miss out on getting the care they need. And some die.

Posted by: Bill H at August 19, 2010 1:05 AM

Bill, I don't call it fraud. If the drug has some efficacy so that it prolongs life or even prevents death in some cases but not many - and you never know to whom it will be effective - it is clearly not fraud.

In a less or preferably non- socialist/collectivist world, it would be an honest and voluntary exchange between a buyer and seller with all relevant information available. However, we are prevented by a third party from entering into such a contract.

I understand that duress plays a role here even in my libertarian example. A patient who pays for the drugs out of pocket and of desparation and dies anyway will leave an injured financial legacy. Nevertheless, I cannot think of any way that it is better to have this decision forcably outsourced to a third party. That, to me, is the real criminal behaviour.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove at August 19, 2010 11:37 AM

Well Dr. Strangelove here are the facts. Avastin doesn't prevent deaths - period. In most cases is does nothing and in others it may delay death by as much as 6 months.

So if a patient wanted to roll the dice and take the drug I am fine with that so long as they pay for the drug out of their own pocket.

However, I am not in favor of a desperate patient who is clinging to life leaving the reast of us paying the bil.

The FDA, by not approving the drug, will leave it to the patient and the MD to decide between them if they want to use Avastin. Insurance companies will refuse to pay, in which case the patient can choose to pay for it herself.

If that is what a death panel is wwell then sign me up for death panels.

Posted by: Bill H at August 19, 2010 9:43 PM

"If that is what a death panel is wwell then sign me up for death panels."

This is exactly why the govt shouldn't be involved in regulating this kind of issue. Because you make a value judgement and confidently condemn the 1/3 of those patients who would experience significant life extension, that much more time with their children or grandchildren; what is life anyway but time?

Ideally, you would be able to choose between health care plans that fought for your life, like Teddy Kennedy, who fought to the end with one expensive long shot procedure after another, or a cheaper plan that includes payment for a pillow over your face when a "death panel" decides that a one out of three chance for six more months with your children is simply not worth it.

And you wonder why people hate liberals. Do you know anybody who likes a control freak? I was married to one for a long time, and I am convinced that she was certain that her every demand on those around her was motivated by a sincere desire to improve everybody's lives.

You should think about that, but being a liberal, you won't. If you reply at all, it will be to reject without argument or evidence, then indulge some rhetorical flourish.

Posted by: tim in vermont at August 20, 2010 7:55 AM
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