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PRESS RELEASE


Obama CMS Plan Would Kill Patients with Cuts in Medicare Drug Payments

May 23, 2016 (EIRNS)—A proposal by the Obama administration’s fascist medical austerity enforcer, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is receiving almost universal condemnation—from doctors, patients’ advocate groups, politicians of both parties, even the drug companies, themselves—but, because of a clause in the Obamacare Act, the Administration can implement it without asking anyone’s "permission."

The Obama proposal would—in the words of one doctor who took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal this morning to attack the scheme—"use financial incentives to push doctors to make ’value-based care’ decisions and prescribe cheaper treatments," both to patients and doctors/hospitals. This would include drugs for treatment of cancer and arthritis, among others, under the guise of "reducing the high price of health care."

So far, the "proposal" has received condemnation from Republican lawmakers, who say Obama should withdraw it. Two dozen Democrats, representing lower-income constituents, also signed a letter which said that rural practices could not absorb the reimbursement cuts (leading to possible closure), and another 60 Democrats signed a separate letter with an "extensive list of questions and concerns."

Health providers also showed concerns, with several doctors stating that "lower cost" drugs were simply not an option in many targeted cancer protocols, and Dr. Jeffrey Vacirca, CEO of NSHOA Cancer Center, the largest community oncology center in New York State (meaning, it treats poor people), writing that the "new policy ... will jeopardize this access [to drugs] by inserting the government between doctors and patients in an unprecedented way." Vacirca called the Obama plan, "a dangerous experiment on the medical care provided to seniors," and "as clear a threat to the American health-care system as I have ever seen in my 18 years as a doctor."

All this is of no concern to killer Obama, since, as The New York Times points out,

"In the Affordable Care Act, Congress gave the Health Secretary power to waive federal Medicare law when necessary to test innovative ways of paying for health care. Citing this authority, the Administration said it wanted to require ’mandatory participation’ for doctors and hospitals that provide Part B drugs to Medicare beneficiaries in about three-fourths of the country." (emphasis added)