Thursday, April 04, 2013

Sequester Interfering With Chemotherapy

Do you need chemotherapy? Do you have a family member, friend, or co-worker currently undergoing chemo? The Sequester, the brainchild of John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and the Republicans, now can alter your cancer treatment.


In the aftermath of Congress’ failure to reach a deal averting the sequester, President Obama described the automatic spending cuts as foolhardy, warning, “The pain will be real. The longer these cuts are in place, the greater the damage.” Those words are now coming to fruition, as local cancer clinics all across America are being forced to turn away thousands of senior citizens on Medicare and deny them their chemotherapy treatments as a consequence of federal budget cuts.

The Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff reports that even the sequester’s relatively mild two percent cut to Medicare is forcing clinics to choose between providing care to patients, absorbing debilitating financial losses, or downsizing medical staff. Faced with those unsavory choices, clinics like North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates in New York are refusing to see as many as 5,000 of their Medicare patients....

...Patients seeking to continue their treatments will have to go to larger hospitals, where their out-of-pocket costs for the pricey chemotherapy drugs will be substantially higher....

Unless and until a Republican runs into this problem, this access to chemo will be ignored. The Republicans in the House of Representatives have created chaos, and will be continue to grow.