An Oregon woman who is suffering from lung cancer was notified by the state-run Oregon Health Plan that they would not cover the life-extending cancer drug her doctor ordered, but it advised her that the plan would cover doctor-assisted suicide.
Apparently, the treatment of advanced cancer that is meant to prolong life or change the course of the disease is not covered by the Oregon Health Plan. Barbara Wagener discovered that her lung cancer had returned and her oncologist had prescribed a drug called Tarceva, which could slow cancer growth and extend her life.
After an appeal by a doctor to Genentech, the company that markets Tarceva in the U.S., the company agreed to cover the drug treatment for a year, after which she can re-apply for the drug. Kudos to the evil drug company!
According to some Oregon oncologists, Oregon Health Care patients with advanced cancer are no longer covered for chemotherapy if it is considered to be for comfort care.
For those who will claim that this is a fluke and isn’t a good example of government-run health care being uncaring or cruel, this isn’t the only case of something like this happening in Oregon. A few years ago, a patient who needed a double organ transplant was denied the treatment, but was eligible for state financed assisted suicide.
Yet another case is that of prostate cancer sufferer, Randy Stroup, who applied for chemotherapy through the state-run health care system and was denied the pricey treatment, but the state did offer to pay for the cost of doctor-assisted suicide.
Memo to liberals who are supporting a national health care plan: Don’t use Oregon as your example of the benefits of government health care!!!