Friday, May 22, 2009

Rich Democrat Uses Private Healthcare to Put Cancer in Remission. Doesn’t Want You To Do Same

Senator Edward Kennedy’s cancer is in remission. Through the wonders of the American healthcare system — the finest on earth — Senator Kennedy was able to seek life saving treatment and, through that treatment, have his cancer go in remission. The sad and tragic irony is that when Senator Kennedy returns to work, he will actively work to deny you the access to treatment he himself had. We are not supposed to be so impolite to say such things, but the truth must be spoken.

We know, from what was publicly reported, that Senator Kennedy’s condition was extremely serious. We also know that Senator Kennedy’s compatriot, Senator Jay Rockefeller, said that under Senator Kennedy’s and the Democrats’ healthcare plan the government is going to weigh the cost/benefit of healthcare choices and deny you access to treatment if the cost outweighed the benefit.

Given media reports of Senator Kennedy’s health, we can postulate that, had Senator Kennedy had access to healthcare under the system he intends to design, he would not have gotten the treatment that put his cancer in remission. We can also postulate one other thing — when Senator Kennedy does design the Democrats’ healthcare system, they will make sure people like Senator Kennedy are not subjected to it. Just you and me.

But don’t worry. People like Arlen Specter will continue raising campaign cash off the plight of those stricken with cancer even while denying those people treatments they want but the government thinks would be wasted.

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NHS kills thousands. Compensation paltry

Thousands of haemophiliacs who contracted HIV and hepatitis C from infected blood have “only had their anguish compounded” by a new Government statement on compensation, the head of the inquiry into the scandal said today. Lord Archer of Sandwell, who conducted a two-year review of how haemophiliacs were given NHS transfusions of contaminated blood, said the response from ministers was “deeply disquieting”.

Dawn Primarolo, the public health minister, announced today that haemophiliacs who contracted HIV from infected blood will receive annual payments of £12,800, double the current sums paid through trusts set up to support victims. Some 4,670 haemophiliacs who received blood transfusions in the 1970s and 1980s were infected with hepatitis C, of whom 1,243 were also infected with HIV.

However Ms Primarolo said that The Skipton Fund - which provides lump sum payments to people infected with hepatitis C - will receive no extra funding. She added that ministers will review the situation again in 2014.

Responding to the announcement, Lord Archer said: “The Government response is a faltering step that only compounds the anguish of the afflicted and bereaved. “It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that humanitarian impulses have come a bad second to Treasury constraints.” He branded the new funding for patients with HIV, “paltry” and said the failure to increase help available to victims with Hepatitis C and to offer payment to their dependants was, “sadly lacking both in understanding and in compassion”.

For years the NHS used imported blood from the US to treat haemophiliacs. It was often collected from paid “skid row” donors such as prison inmates who were more likely to have HIV and hepatitis. Nearly 2,000 people have died as a result of exposure to the tainted blood.

The Archer inquiry heard evidence from Lord Winston describing the blood contamination as “the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS”. Lord Archer suggested a Government apology, a statutory advisory panel and compensation at least equal to that paid to patients in Ireland where those infected with HIV from contaminated blood received up to 101,000 euros and those who contracted hepatitis C were paid on average 853,636 euros.

But the Government rejected campaigners’ demands for substantial compensation payments, instead announcing a slight increase of funding for the Macfarlane and Eileen Trusts to allow annual payments of £12,800 to each HIV infected person. Both trusts will also be given more funding so they can make higher payments to the families and dependants of victims. Spouses of those who die as a result of the infection will still not get any financial help from the Government.

The minister also rejected calls by Lord Archer for a government advisory committee on haemophilia. Instead she said the Department of Health will invite the Haemophilia Alliance - a group of patients, haemophilia doctors, and those involved in their care - to meet with the Government twice yearly. Ms Primarolo also pledged £100,000 each year for the next five years to the Haemophilia Society. She said: “I thank Lord Archer for his very thorough report. The Government has the greatest sympathy for those who have been affected and deeply regrets that these events came about following NHS treatment."

Chris James, chief executive of the Haemophilia Society, said the Government had tried to “water down” and “ignore” Lord Archer’s recommendations and presented “a collection of half-measures”. He said he would write directly to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Tory leader David Cameron and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg asking for an urgent meeting because the Department of Health, he said, “have shown themselves to be incapable of the simple human compassion and understanding required to deal with the victims of this disaster”. No health minister attended the two-year inquiry, despite repeated requests. “The Government claims to accept the moral case for action but then, by not implementing the recommendations in full, it shows its contempt for the victims.”

Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said: “The Government’s response is deeply disappointing and underlines how appallingly it has behaved over this issue. This is one of the most serious tragedies in the history of the NHS.”

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1 comment:

armouris said...

other info on haemophilia A here - Haemophilia A