Friday, September 24, 2010

A Little More -- On GlaxoSmithKline, And The New England Journal Of Medicine Debate

Here is a little more to and fro', from a careful, well-intentioned anonymous commenter, in our comment box, on the above topic, yesterday (with my various typos corrected, by edits):

Anonymous said...

Just for debating purposes: Isn't this a 'death panel' pathway?

September 23, 2010 8:18 AM

Condor said...

Just responding, then:

Um. . . non-life threatening condition; expensive treatment?

Nope. No death possible -- except to our wallets.

The more general point -- as to cost v. benefit (in truly life v. death calls) -- will always raise that difficult question, though.

Just because it is a difficult question, however, we are not exempt from being required to think it through, right?


September 23, 2010 9:18 AM

Anonymous said...

I'd love to continue this exercise.

What 'someone' now is proposing that my access to medical care needs to be overseen by a committee/panel that will determine if my quality of life meets their fiscal priorities.

As mentioned over on Pharmalot:

"HervĂ© Decousushe tells the Times, noting that clots can be seen expaning in the veins under skin toward deeper veins where they can also migrate to the lungs. “It’s painful, and you can see the clot in front of you…We don’t want to wait for a fatal pulmonary embolism.”
Last I knew, fatal=death.

Slippery slope to 'death panels.'

BTW: this is just an exercise.

What I believe is that we do have to have these conversations on; exactly what are we (as a nation) willing to pay for and what we aren't. Knowing full well, that the lines for that will change.

Thanks for the exchange.

September 23, 2010 12:22 PM

Condor said...

Yes, this is a nice exchange -- civil and easy.

And, near as I can tell (for the sake of argument) no one is suggesting these superficial topical clots are (by themselves) life-threatening.

Is $186,000 per each potential new event avoided too high, when the event (while painful) is considered not life-threatening?

I don't know. But like you, I think it is the sort of hard discussion we ought to have, openly -- rather than simply letting the savage allocation of excessive wealth v. poverty force that allocation indiscriminately -- if we are after a more humane system, overall.


September 23, 2010 11:10 PM. . . .

Now, what do you think? Do go take the poll, in the left sidebar (points slightly above, and left)!


Anonymous said...

So, I vote 'no' it isn't but......I think the spin doctors would be able to make it seem like it is. And boy, you'd be drummed out of the party for suggesting it is so.

Thanks for the debate and the survey.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, if you must include something about Sarah Palin, then you should have also had a box for "do you really care to she if she gets on DWTS?"


Anonymous said...

I guess, I just can't leave this alone.

This just coming out:

Lies, Damned Lies – Obamacare 6 Months Later; It’s Time to Take Back the 20!

by Sarah Palin on Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 2:13pm

It’s now six months since President Obama took control of one-sixth of the private sector economy with his health care “reform,” and the first changes to our health care system come into effect today. Despite overwhelming public dislike of the bill, we were told that D.C. knows best, and there was nothing to worry about, and we’d be better off swallowing the pill called Obamacare; so, in defiance of the will of the people, the President and his party rammed through this mother of all unfunded mandates. Nancy Pelosi said Congress had to pass the bill so that Americans could “find out what is in it.” We found out that it’s even worse than we feared.

Remember when the president said, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”? Not true. In Texas alone a record number of doctors are leaving the Medicare system because of the cuts in reimbursements forced on them by Obamacare! The president of the Texas Medical Association, Dr. Susan Bailey, warns that “the Medicare system is beginning to implode.”

Remember the Obama administration’s promise that Obamacare would cut a typical family’s premium “by up to $2500 a year”? Not true. In fact, fueled by reports that insurers expect premiums to rise by as much as 25 percent as a result of Obamacare, Senate Democrats are contemplating the introduction of price controls.

Remember when the president said in his address to Congress that “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions”? That turned out to be yet another one of those “You lie!” moments. We found out that Obamacare-mandated high risk insurance pools set up in states like Pennsylvania and New Mexico will fund abortions after all.

Remember the promise that Obamacare would “strengthen small businesses”? Not true either. The net result of Obamacare is that small businesses will face higher health care costs, new Medicare taxes, and higher regulation compliance costs, while the much-hyped health care tax credit for small businesses turns out to be almost impossible to obtain.

Remember the president’s promise that his bill would ensure “everyone [has] some basic security”? False again. Besides the great uncertainty that Obamacare hampers businesses with, companies now find it is actually cheaper to pay the $2000 per employee fine imposed by Obamacare than to keep insuring their workforce. This leaves millions of American workers at risk of losing their employer-provided health insurance.

And remember when the Obama administration said they would not be “rationing care” in the future? That ol’ “death panels” thing I wrote about last year? That was before Obamacare was passed. Once it passed, they admitted there was going to be rationing after all. There has to be. The reality of Obamacare is that it enshrines what the New York Times called “The Power of No” – the government’s power to say no to your request for treatment of the people you love. The fact that the president used a recess appointment to push through the nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services tells you all you need to know about this administration’s intentions. After all, Berwick is the man who said, “The decision is not whether we will ration care – the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”


Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double post. I'm sure you can fix the error.

"By the way, when the administration was talking about that independent board that has the statutory power to decide which categories of treatment are worthy of funding based on efficiency calculations (that, again, sounded to me like a panel of faceless bureaucrats making life and death decisions about your loved ones – which, again, is what I referred to as a “death panel”), it was another opportunity for Americans to hear the truth about Obamacare’s intentions.

So, yes, those rationing “death panels” are there, and so are the tax increases that the president also promised were “absolutely not” in his bill. (Aren’t you tiring of the untruths coming from this White House and the liberals in Congress?) When the state of Florida filed a challenge to Obamacare on the basis that the mandates in the bill are unconstitutional, the Obama Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the suit by citing the Anti-Injunction Act, which blocks courts from interfering with the federal government’s ability to collect taxes. Yes, taxes! Once the bill was passed it was no longer politically inconvenient for the Obama administration to admit that it makes no difference whether the payment is a tax or a penalty because it’s “assessed and collected in the same manner.” The National Taxpayer Advocate has already warned that “Congress must provide sufficient funding” to allow the IRS to collect this new tax. Pretty soon we’ll be paying taxes just to make it possible for the IRS to collect all the additional taxes under Obamacare! Seems as if this is another surprise that the public found out about after the bill was rammed through.

Anonymous said...

I think this will finish it....

"But perhaps the most ridiculous promise of all was the president’s assurance that Obamacare will lead to “bending the curve” on health care spending. Yes, rationing is a part of the new system, and yes, Obamacare does raise taxes. But because the new government managed system is so incredibly complicated and expensive to run, health care spending will actually rise instead of fall. Don’t believe me? Then take a look at the Congressional Budget Office’s admittance that the CBO’s original estimate of the total costs of the bill were off by around $115 billion. Its new estimate is now above $1 trillion, and even that may be way too low. A more realistic figure calculated by the Pacific Research Institute puts the number at $2.5 to $3 trillion over the next 10 years! This is probably what President Obama was referring to when he admitted recently that he had known all along that “at the margins” his proposals were going to drive up costs. Give us a break! Only in this administration would they refer to a $3 trillion spending increase as “marginal.” Next time he comes to us with another one of his harebrained proposals for a budget-busting federal power grab, let’s make sure we remember the president’s admission that he was lying all along when he told us his health care plan was going to cut costs. He is increasing costs. He admits it now. Period.

Higher costs and worse care – is it any wonder why people are overwhelmingly in favor of repealing and replacing Obamacare? Politicians who have vacillated on this issue need to be fired. Candidates who don’t support “repeal and replace” don’t deserve your support. No amount of money spent on Washington’s “government-wide apolitical public information campaign” (otherwise known as “propaganda”) will convince Americans that this awful legislation is anything other than a debt-driven big government train wreck. We need to repeal and replace it, and that can only happen if we elect a new Congress that will make scrapping Obamacare one of its top priorities. We can replace it with pro-private sector, patient-oriented reform that the GOP has proposed.

On March 23, when Obamacare was signed into law, I launched my “Take back the 20” campaign, focusing on 20 congressional districts that John McCain and I carried in 2008 which are or were represented by members of Congress who voted in favor of Obamacare. They need to be held accountable for those votes. They voted for Obamacare. Now we can vote against them. We need to replace them with representatives who will respect the will of the people.

That’s why today I’m launching a new Take Back the 20 website at! provides information about the candidates in these 20 districts who are committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare. It has links to their personal websites and their donation pages. It allows you to read up on them, and then support them in their race to defeat those who gave us this terrible bill.

We have to send Washington a message that it’s not acceptable to disregard the will of the people. We have to tell them enough is enough. No more defying the Constitution. No more driving us off a financial cliff. We must repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered, results-driven, free market reform that provides solutions to people of all income levels without bankrupting our country.

It’s time to make a stand! Let’s take back the 20!

- Sarah Palin

sorry for the length of the information.

Just wanted you aware of how/what some people think...and besides~ you brought Sarah into this......

Anonymous said...

On the plus side there is always this:

Again, sorry for tying up space on your blog with non-Merck stuff.

But, I'm enjoying the banter.

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?