Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Conservatives Celebrate Reduction in Cancer Drug Treatment as Proof of Their Success in Cutting Government Spending

News That Didn’t Happen – But Could Have and Might Still

When the so-called ‘sequester’ went into effect and there was no immediate calamity Conservatives responded that see, cutting government spending does not hurt anyone.  It turns out they were wrong,  not surprisingly.

Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients, blaming the sequester budget cuts.

Oncologists say the reduced funding, which took effect for Medicare on April 1, makes it impossible to administer expensive chemotherapy drugs while staying afloat financially.

Patients at these clinics would need to seek treatment elsewhere, such as at hospitals that might not have the capacity to accommodate them.

But this was probably only good news for anti-government spending legislators, who see government involvement in health care as a huge colossal blunder.  So on hearing the news they may have reacted thusly.

Dr. Ralph V. Boccia, of The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, runs a cancer clinic that is in danger of losing funding due to the sequester cuts. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
Portrait of a Wasteful Government Spending Program
Ralph V. Boccia of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders runs a cancer clinic that is in danger of losing funding due to the sequester cuts. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Conservatives in Congress Praise Cutting Off
Cancer Patients from Expensive Drug Therapy

Washington April 5 (AP).  A group of highly conservative members of Congress today announced that the sequester was a great success, and cited as an example the fact that many clinics would not be able to have government support to supply cancer drug treatment for patients with advanced cases of cancer.  They said this was pure proof that government spending cuts were the right way to go.

“These patients were part of the 47% who think they are entitled to live” said one member of the group “and that just because they cannot afford drug treatment for their cancer they think that the Medicare system should pick up most of the bill.  Just because they have Medicare doesn’t mean they get health care.” 

When asked how those advocating the cuts would feel if people died another member of the group said “Look, these people are probably going to die anyway, so continuing to treat them would just be a waste of money.  That’s the type of government waste we were sent to Washington to end.”

The group was asked if, as part of the Sequester, health care for members of Congress such as themselves would be cut. “That would be short sighted” Congressman Walter “Killer” Judd said, adding “we need to be at our healthy best in order to follow up with cuts in child care, nutrition programs, housing assistance and other wasteful Federal spending.” 

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