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Medicare to pay for $93,000 prostate cancer drug

Medicare 2011

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#21 Broph

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 03:31 PM

View PostCertifiably Cait, on 01 April 2011 - 02:42 PM, said:

View PostPalisade, on 31 March 2011 - 07:48 PM, said:

^ Being born is a death sentence. Any taxpayer-provided medical care is at best a temporary reprieve.

While pragmatically true, I doubt if you asked anyone that  they'd offer up their lives early to balance the budget.  Just sayin!

You should check out the Vonnegut short story "2BOR02B". It's fiction, but still interesting.

#22 Palisades

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 03:44 PM

Cait said:

And, since I've told you that, it is also the basis for my opinion on this particular topic. Like I have said, I know you are stating some pretty grim but true facts about this, but I'm offended by the lack of reverence for life itself. Life is perilous without any help from Insurance companies denying treatment. Taken to an extreme, why should be care about soldiers dying in war, after all they were born already dying. Why should we care about humanitarian work around the world? They already dying. Why should we care about any life at all? We're all dying.

I'd really like to know how trying to do the most possible good with the available money is a policy that lacks reverence for life. Anyway, what do you think happens to people on Medicare under the current policy who go without treatment because they can't afford the 20% copays? Also, what do you think happens to the people without health insurance? According to one study, 45,000 people die every year in the U.S. because of not having health insurance. And more people die because they have insurance but still can't afford medical care and the prescribed medications. It's already happening, and it's happening with treatments that would deliver a whole lot better results than this $93,000 drug.

I know Britain's NHS considers price when deciding what treatments it will pay for. It has an office that collects information on effectiveness, and the NHS administrators use that information to decide what's covered. I'd be surprised if most national health care systems don't do the same thing.
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#23 Cait

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:04 PM

*sigh*  Let me just say this, in general I completely agree with you.  Your evaluation of the situation is, as I've said, correct.  I agree with the reality you're presented here.  I also recognize that you're talking about the macro, and I'm looking at the micro.  I feel sometimes we have to look at the needs of the one.  Not always, and certainly when there are limited resources we cannot provide, but when you're saying that the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the one, well, I htink that we need to look at that in terms of ethics not just numbers.

The greater problem as I see it is the limited resources, and the ever dwindling resources available continues.  Today it is a treatment for prostate cancer with a hope of only 4 months to add to a life.  What happens when it literally boils down to the fact that we only have enough oil for heat to X amount of people.  Or we only have enough vaccine for X amount of people to survive some illness.  Who makes the decision?  I want those kinds of decisions to remain difficult, and the way health care is run nowadays, it way to easy to decide "you die.  You live for another 4 months.  And you can have the resources to keep healthy your whole life. "

As I said before, it's not a one size fits all.

I am  not saying you are wrong in your POV or your analysis.  I'm saying I see it differently.  ]Macro/micro]  I think both POV's are necessary BTW.  I think we have to think of helping the most people when we have  limited resources.  But I also think we have to look and take note of what that disbursement of limited resources causes.  People will die, and just saying "We all die" isn't good enough for me.  It's true, but it's not good enough.  My POV doesn't change the marco, but not looking at the mirco and allowing for the consequences, well, it seems an easy out for what will amount to unnecessary deaths for those unable to afford treatment.  Like a General saying, well there will be losses in a battle.  Again, marco/mirco.  We need to have someone see the over all and reduce it to numbers, but we can't lose sight of the fact that those numbers reflect lives.

Additionally, I don't think a lot of people are looking at what limited resources will really bring to our lives [You do, but I don't think people realize].  We live in the US and our problems have always been "how to afford what we want", never "how do I even find what I want."  Limited access to what resources do exist will create an even deeper divide between the ich and the rest of us, than ever before.  That's not exactly someone's fault.  It's what happens.  It's literally survival of the fittest.  I do see that.

That reality doesn't make it right to let people die.  It hasn't been right for a long time, and to deny even more care so that more people die isn't right now.  

Is it going to happen despite my outrage?  Sure it is.  And that makes me sad....

oh and it makes me brush up on my Marx.  He had a lot to say about dwindling resources.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#24 Palisades

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:56 PM

View PostCertifiably Cait, on 01 April 2011 - 05:04 PM, said:

The greater problem as I see it is the limited resources, and the ever dwindling resources available continues.  Today it is a treatment for prostate cancer with a hope of only 4 months to add to a life.

Ah, but what happened here is that an expensive treatment became available that wasn't available previously. If Medicare had decided not to pay for the new drug, no one would be worse off for it than they were previously except the drug company and its investors. That's one of the reasons medical care keeps costing more and more. Exotic new treatments keep getting developed.

Yes, natural resources are being depleted even as population grows, but that's a different issue from this new $93,000 cancer drug.

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What happens when it literally boils down to the fact that we only have enough oil for heat to X amount of people.

Hopefully, the heaters will run off of molten-salt thorium power, or something even better.

Quote

My POV doesn't change the marco, but not looking at the mirco and allowing for the consequences, well, it seems an easy out for what will amount to unnecessary deaths for those unable to afford treatment.  Like a General saying, well there will be losses in a battle.  Again, marco/mirco.  We need to have someone see the over all and reduce it to numbers, but we can't lose sight of the fact that those numbers reflect lives.

Carried to the logical conclusion, your POV says it would be the correct decision for society to pay $1 trillion (or more) for a treatment that would extend life by one week for one person, and to keep allocating resources like that regardless of the long-term consequences.

Quote

But I also think we have to look and take note of what that disbursement of limited resources causes.  People will die, and just saying "We all die" isn't good enough for me.  It's true, but it's not good enough.

Maybe it's not good enough, but if we only have the resources to (temporarily) save so many people, that's all we can do. And I think you regognize that, even if you don't like it.
"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

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TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#25 Cait

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:13 PM

View PostPalisade, on 01 April 2011 - 05:56 PM, said:


Maybe it's not good enough, but if we only have the resources to (temporarily) save so many people, that's all we can do. And I think you regognize that, even if you don't like it.

Yes.  You are correct.  I do recognize it and I don't like it.  :)


I have to tell you I liked this conversation so much, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Thank you for engaging.


Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html




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