Oh, those death panels. No, no, no … ignore that. That’s just prostate cancer … nothing to see here. Move along. As I always say, turn your college, retirement or health care over to the government and they will tell you, where you can go to college, when you will retire, and apparently if they will pay for your care. This is what change looks like.
Just days after the recess appointment of Donald Berwick, the controversial new head of Medicare and Medicaid, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance posted the following grim news: for the first time in history, an FDA-approved anti-cancer therapy may not be covered by Medicare.
” … The CMS statute states that Medicare must cover therapies that are reasonable and necessary, while the FDA is instructed to approve drugs that are safe and effective. Because of the conflicting Federal coverage and approval requirements, there are some non-FDA approved drugs (called off-label drugs) that are paid for by CMS. However, with respect to Provenge, it appears that CMS is arguing that while the treatment is safe and effective, it may not be reasonable and necessary. For the first time, an FDA approved anti-cancer therapy may not be covered by Medicare.”
As Jim Hoft writes:
A life-saving cancer treatment “may not be reasonable and necessary”? Gee, that kind of decision-making by an unelected federal bureaucracy certainly sounds like a death panel to me.
I’m not sure if this is the work of Dr. Berwick. How could he possibly be behind this decission after being on the job one day. Still, Dr Berwick, the now famous Dr Death Panel himself, is most famous for these comments.
Limited resources require decisions about who will have access to care and the extent of their coverage.
This is what change looks like.