Poor insurance coverage is causing cancer patients to miss out on cutting-edge technologies that use gene analysis to determine the best treatments — a fact a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration is calling another example of Obamacare’s failure to provide Americans with high-quality health care.
“There’s a degree of dishonesty about what the Affordable Care Act provides, and that is starkly clear when a patient has a serious type of cancer,” said former FDA Associate Commissioner Peter J. Pitts, who now serves as president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. “The soundbite of the ACA is, many more Americans now have health insurance. But the health insurance isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”
Pitts said companies are covering the old-fashioned, less-effective chemotherapy regimens rather than more sophisticated approaches and prescription benefit managers are opting not to reimburse the more innovative, expensive treatments. Instead, they are negotiating rebates with pharmaceutical companies that they pocket, rather than passing the savings along to the patient.
“It’s time for insurance companies and prescription benefit managers to step up and do the right thing by putting patients first,” Pitts said. “When they choose not to reimburse for a product because it doesn’t earn them enough money, even though it could save a patient’s life, I think it’s despicable.”
Insurance didn’t cover my dad’s cancer treatment at all. He had Medicare and a supplemental insurance. His claim was denied and he had to get a grant to pay for radiation and chemotherapy.
And people love to jump all over me about how Obamacare makes all of that better. No. No it doesn’t.