While the negative issues with Obamacare abound, one chronic disease treatment issue reveals the underlying purpose for the existence of Obamacare. It is not universal access to care. It is about the routine, codified inhumane cruelty of denying treatment for the global purpose of skimming money from the sick and the elderly. Jim Angle of Fox news gets close but no cigar. Kudos to Mr. Angle and Fox for reporting this story.
From Fox’s Report: “One of the problems is that drugs for some diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis do not have generic versions so without cheaper alternatives and no help from ObamaCare, patients could face huge personal out-of-pocket bills, forcing some to skimp on their medications”.
There will be no out of pocket to face if the cost is so unreachable as to in all practicality deny Obamacare treatment. It comes to MS there is no “skimping on your meds” You are being treated or you are not. There is no inexpensive one-size-fits all treatment. As Mr. Angle reports, there are no generic drugs for MS. Most advances in the treatment of MS have been made in the last 15 years or so. Thus the ONLY real treatments are only a few years on the market or even months. These meds require a regular and consistent administration of the drug. There is no “skimping” in Multiple Sclerosis. A person is being treated with the right drug, at the right dose or they are not. A person will either live happily with treatment or they will live languishing in pain and isolation.
Mr. Angle ‘s report supports this: “this may drive patients to not buy their medicines, which we know is dangerous. We know MS can be a bad disease when you’re not treating it. When you’re treating it, for most people they handle it pretty well, but we know when you don’t treat (it), it’s the kind of disease where people end up in wheel chairs potentially.”
Multiple Sclerosis slowly takes away a person’s abilities to think, to move, to care for themselves. There is often considerable pain involved. Yet a person does not die from the disease, but from its secondary effects. As helpless as we can become, we live almost as long as a healthy person does with whatever pain and disabilities we have.
This is exactly why the MS drugs have been excluded from the Obamacare formulary. The formularies of many other drug plans have been altered to reflect the cost savings ideology of Obamacare, including the formulary of Medicare D. MS treatment is expensive and it lasts a lifetime. This was not an unconscious move on the part of the authors of the ACAs. It is a targeted move. To the socialist central planner types, it is a gold mine of expenditure denial
Thus denial of treatment of Multiple Sclerosis patients is codified into the Obamacare nightmare.
Since my diagnosis in 2002, many new treatments have been developed with the power to slow the advance of the disease and often improve the quality of life. A new drug called Tysabri gave me new life. Although I was still affected by the disease, it lifted what is known as brain fog, improved my endurance, and lessened the crushing fatigue. I went from frequent use of a walker, to the use of a cane. It was nothing short of miraculous.
I developed antibodies in 2013 that made treatment with Tysabri no longer advisable, even after years of positive results. My physician recommended that I begin taking a new pill, I will call Drug X. Paperwork was submitted the second week in November to the manufacturer who had a program to facilitate start-up treatment.
I was told by my private insurance companies navigator that my coverage by my private insurance had changed because of Obamacare. My private insurance, a benefit gained as compensation during my working years, would cover this drug but so minimally as to be useless. You can’t buy half or a quarter of a pill. In order to be treated, I must come up with approximately 50 grand a year, cash, out of pocket.
It might as well be a million.
My desperate personal trip to the private drug plan web site without “navigator” assistance revealed that I was covered for the cost of the drug minus my co-pay. There may also be a deductible of about 3 grand. I called the navigators for both the drug insurance and the drug’s manufacturer and told them that I had determined that I was indeed covered and sent them screen shots of the on-line determination of benefits.
At this writing, I have since received my first dose with observation (as required by FDA) of Drug X and suffered no detectable side effects. I am feeling much better. However because of the pattern of inaccuracy established by multiple navigators, I cannot be sure of this untåil it is time to check out the drug shipment with the Specialty Pharmacy.
The charge could be one hundred dollars or thousands. I still don’t know with any certainty. If it is thousands, I will simply not be able to be treated. I will remain untreated and be left to the consequences of the disease. I will not bankrupt my family for the “greater good” that Obamacare alleges. I am sadly confident that others will be forced toå make the same choice.
The take away from this narrative is not that poor me doesn’t have access to treatment. The brutal fact is that Obamacare offers NO drugs for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. Consequently, all people with MS will by default be denied treatment. Inclusion in the Obamacare formulary is based on per patient per drug, per year cost times projected number of years. Multiple Sclerosis? Sorry. Lupus? Any life long disease with only non-generic treatments? Sorry, no help for you. What other treatments does Obamacare deny?
People with MS and other neurological diseases will likely stay alive in spite of the denial of treatment, but they and their families will be burdened with their horrific quality of life. So as untreated patients can anticipate a future that includes visions of some day lying in their own waste, they can be assured that their colonoscopy will be free.