In Britain’s nationalized healthcare system, Life prolonging cancer drugs to be banned because they cost too much

Thousands of patients with terminal cancer were dealt a blow last night after a decision was made to deny them life prolonging drugs.

The Government’s rationing body said two drugs for advanced breast cancer and a rare form of stomach cancer were too expensive for the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is expected to confirm guidance in the next few weeks that will effectively ban their use.

The move comes despite a pledge by Nice to be more flexible in giving life-extending drugs to terminally-ill cancer patients after a public outcry last year over ‘death sentence’ decisions.

I wonder if this and similar outcomes in other socialized healthcare systems will be discussed at Obama’s health care summit.

Obama gently sparred with  Sen. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) over his campaign proposal to offer a government-sponsored insurance option to people who do not have coverage.

Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, argued that the “public option” would make government “an unfair competitor” to private insurers.

“The thinking on the public option has been that it gives consumers more choices and helps keep the private sector honest,” Obama replied.

Doesn’t sound like it.

Republicans not going for it:

“It is essential that we work together across party lines and we would like to express our strong desire to reject partisan tactics and move forward on this important challenge in a comprehensive, inclusive and bipartisan manner,” McConnell wrote in letter to President Barack Obama, which was signed by four senators who sit on committees with jurisdiction over the issue.

At the same time, however, McConnell suggested there were areas in which Republicans won’t compromise, particularly the creation of a new public insurance program to compete with private insurers.

“Forcing free market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an unlevel playing field and inevitably doom true competition,” the letter stated. “Ultimately, we would be left with a single government-run program controlling all of the market. This would take health care decisions out of doctors and patients and place them in the hands of another Washington bureaucracy.”

Good.

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