One of the beautiful things about living in the United States is that with 50 states, we can compare and contrast varying policies to see how well they work or how miserably they fail. We can also predict how national policy will play out by observing how a similar policy affects a particular state.
Oregon is a state that has Universal Health Care. According to KVAL of Eugene, Oregon:
|Barbara Wagner has one wish - for more time.|
"I'm not ready, I'm not ready to die," the Springfield woman said. "I've got things I'd still like to do."
Her doctor offered hope in the new chemotherapy drug Tarceva, but the Oregon Health Plan sent her a letter telling her the cancer treatment was not approved.
Instead, the letter said, the plan would pay for comfort care, including "physician aid in dying," better known as assisted suicide.
So, why was it not approved by a state that promised Universal Care?
|One critic of assisted suicide calls the message disturbing nonetheless.|
"People deserve relief of their suffering, not giving them an overdose," said Dr. William Toffler.
He said the state has a financial incentive to offer death instead of life: Chemotherapy drugs such as Tarceva cost $4,000 a month while drugs for assisted suicide cost less than $100.
And here is the real kicker:
|[Dr. Som] Saha said state health officials do not consider whether it is cheaper for someone in the health plan to die than live. However, he admitted they must consider the state's limited dollars when dealing with a case such as Wagner's.|
"If we invest thousands and thousands of dollars in one person's days to weeks, we are taking away those dollars from someone," Saha said.
There is a sinlge word to describe the above situation: RATIONING.
You can access the complete article on-line here:
Health Plan Covers Assisted Suicide But Not New Cancer Treatment
July 31, 2008