Progressives cried foul when Sarah Palin said Obamcare would lead to death panels. They attacked and smeared any Conservative who pointed out that once the government gets involved in healthcare and expands coverage, they would then have to ration it. Well the rationing has begun. The American Society of Clinical Oncology has recommended 5 cancer tests that should not be given. They claim it hurts the patients, but clearly this was done to reduce the amount of care given.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – In a move that threatens to further inflame concerns about the rationing of medical care, the nation’s leading association of cancer physicians issued a list on Wednesday of five common tests and treatments that doctors should stop offering to cancer patients.
The list emerged from a two-year effort, similar to a project other medical specialties are undertaking, to identify procedures that do not help patients live longer or better or that may even be harmful, yet are routinely prescribed.
As much as 30 percent of health-care spending goes to procedures, tests, and hospital stays that do not improve a patient’s health, according to a 2008 analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget office.
“Our goal was to improve care and improve the value of the care we deliver,” said Dr. Lowell Schnipper, a cancer physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who led the task force assembled by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The group of more than 200 oncologists released the list from a report in its Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Following the science, however, can lead to conclusions that do not sit well with all patients. Shari Baker, who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer eight years ago and has been in remission since 2007, has already felt the brunt of one of the recommendations: that patients who have been successfully treated for breast cancer and have no symptoms of cancer not undergo CT, PET, other imaging, or bone scans to check for a recurrence or spread of the disease, known as metastasis.
“As a survivor of bone metastasis — the breast cancer had spread to my spine — after my doctor told me I was clear those PET scans were my peace of mind,” said Baker, a jewelry designer in Scottsdale, Ariz. “By the time you have symptoms it’s too late.”
Her insurer, guided by the same kind of studies that served as the basis for the ASCO list, would not cover the scan, citing that it provides no benefit.
This is rationing pure and simple. The Progressives can lie all they want, but the truth is with government demands to reduce costs, it will be the patients who bear the burden. Pray the Supreme Court throws out Obamcare. Our lives literally depend on it!
(Hat Tip: Brookly Red)