WHY IS McCLATCHY RESURRECTING AND RECYCLING FAKE NEWS?
A REMINDER OF LIFE'S FRAGILITY IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD

IS CVS PLANNING TO RATION THEIR CUSTOMER'S HEALTHCARE AND DRUG AVAILABILITY?

CVS-SENIORS

It is one thing to have a national debate over the progressive’s intentions to institute government limitations of healthcare, but it quite another thing to have a private organization unilaterally implement such progressive healthcare restrictions on the large customer base.

Unfortunately, you cannot even rely on senior-friendly organizations like AARP due to their progressive agenda and willingness to sell out their membership to implement Obamacare. Let us not forget the AARP earns a substantial portion of its revenue, not from its membership but from licensing its name to the very insurance company that helped write the Obamacare statute; and whose IT subsidiary developed the unsecure healthcare.gov.

Is this the canary in the coal mine?

CVS Makes Plans To Ration Customers’ Health Care

A health rationing organization’s opinion about so-called quality of life value will soon determine whether CVS customers can receive new prescription drugs and treatments.

CVS Caremark customers throughout America recently received bad news as the retail pharmaceutical chain officially closed on its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna. This is bad news because CVS is now working with a nonprofit “health” advisor that may ration customers’ health care choices.

[OCS: Caveat: There is no indication that this so-called nonprofit health advisor will play a significant part in the operation of the CVS pharmacy chain.

However, it does appear that CVS has previously [08/03/2016] crowed about making billions of dollars by implementing restrictive policies.

“On the company’s earnings conference call, CVS Health CEO Larry J. Merlo credited the company’s pharmacy benefits manager, or PBM with the “gross wins” from its drug rationing efforts.

Perhaps the biggest news from the company this week: its plan — for the first time — to block cancer patients’ access to brand-name cancer drugs. CVS Health spokeswoman Carolyn Castel admitted that “it’s the first time that brand-name cancer drugs have been taken off CVS’s standard formulary.”

CVS Health will no longer cover treatments for leukemia and prostate cancer in 2017 — part of a 36 percent increase in the number of life-saving treatments not covered by the company. In 2017, CVS Health will ban three dozen more treatments, bringing the total number of excluded drugs to 131.

This is wrong. However, profit-seeking companies have every right not to carry these medications as they see fit and you, the consumer, have every right to take your business elsewhere. And if you are stuck with CVS Caremark because of your insurance plan and you need any of these medications — you have every right to change your insurance.”]

In August, CVS announced a partnership with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), a nonprofit group that bills itself as a medical review board. But its leadership team and the far-left billionaires footing its bill paint a troubling picture.

Under ICER’s direction, CVS has set a “threshold of $100,000 per QALY, or quality-of-life years, a benchmark that measures both the quantity and quality of life generated by providing a treatment or some other health care intervention.” In practice, that means ICER’s opinion about the so-called quality of life value will determine whether CVS customers can receive new prescription drugs and treatments.

[OCS: How many people remember Obamacare’s guru, Ezekiel “EZ-Kill” Emanuel who led the team to quantify the quality of life in order to reduce the costs incurred when treatments did not have favorable impacts on the quality of life? In essence, avoiding expensive experimental drugs because extending one’s life for a few month’s just wasn’t worth it to the “collective” community. Since the most expensive healthcare comes as seniors age or face end-of-life medical issues, this is tantamount to handing out the not-so-mythical suicide pill.]

This means that even if a doctor prescribes a drug for a patient, that individual may find that CVS doesn’t carry that medication if it doesn’t fit ICER’s parameters. Think of it as socialized health care without the socialistic government regime.

[OCS: Once again the progressive masterminds believe they know what is scientifically best and that your physician needs to be constrained for the good of the system. The one question few seem to ask is: Under a single-payer healthcare system, are doctors considered simple servants who much work for wages determined by the system? This is a dangerous scheme.]

Recall that the debate over health-care rationing was a primary reason so many folks objected to ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). IPAB was to be a 15-person panel deciding which treatments should be allowed under what circumstances for government-run programs.

The idea of a panel deciding who gets what kind of care and when seemed Orwellian from the start, and Americans by and large opposed the entire concept. In February, Congress did away with IPAB.

[OCS: With fewer restrictions on private organizations, corporations rather than the government are large enough to implement progressive policies without significant public input. This is a scary trend that appears to be developing, especially with large companies controlling the majority of information flow on the social media platforms.]

CVS is now instituting its own form of IPAB with ICER. Rationing, by any other name, is just as insidious. So who is funding this far-left push? The Laura and John Arnold Foundation has donated more than $19 million to ICER since 2015. These big-money liberals appear to have goals of moving beyond ObamaCare to a full-blown single-payer system.

[OCS: Perhaps it is time to check CVS’s efforts by taking your business elsewhere and demanding more competition in pharmaceutical pricing.]

In addition to funding ICER, the Arnolds have teamed up with George Soros to bankroll Patients for Affordable Drugs (P4AD), an advocacy group claiming to be bipartisan yet comprised largely of former Obama and Clinton staffers. P4AD’s political actions during this past election cycle put the truth to the lie of bipartisanship.

During the Obama administration, CVS teamed up with the White House to promote the Affordable Care Act in its stores. Now it is working with far-left actors to revive a version of ObamaCare’s rationing board. CVS customers and investors deserve better.

Read more at CVS Makes Plans To Ration Customers’ Health Care

There is little or no doubt in my mind that the progressive socialist democrats want to collapse our healthcare system to bring about a single-payer system that forces everyone but the wealthy and those “waivered” out of the system to depend on the government for their life or death. Using a panel of central planners to determine whether or not something is reimbursable by the government payment system and literally whether you will live or die.

The political agenda is to collapse our system in such a manner as to move from capitalism to socialism as individuals who have been severely impacted by the present system “demand” a government solution – even if it means sacrificing the constitution and our capitalist system.

A dangerous plan for rationing essential prescription drugs

This past summer, Rhode Island-based CVS Caremark, the biggest pharmacy benefit manager (the intermediary between drug manufacturers and insurers), announced that it would allow its insurer clients to exclude from their plans any drugs priced greater than $100,000 per QALY. The CVS decision allows insurers to forbid access to prescription drugs that cost more than $100,000 per extra year lived in perfect health or per extra few years lived in mediocre health.

[OCS: Perhaps it is time to demand a law like Glass-Steagall which separated investment and commercial banking activities. In this case, pharmacies and insurance companies would be prohibited from owning, controlling, or having an interest in pharmacy benefit managers. Better yet, disintermediate pharmacy benefit managers and let the pharmacies and institutions buy directly from the drug manufacturer or a simple distributorship that cannot mark-up prices and issue kickbacks in the form of rebates.]

The problem with QALY is that it is a crude instrument that attempts to measure the impossible: the value of an extra year of life. Putting an objective monetary value on life — especially lived at different qualities — is a fool’s errand. Patients with chronic diseases, for instance, may agree that their quality of life would be improved if they were healthy, but they wouldn’t agree with the QALY proclamation that their lives therefore have less inherent value.

Adherence to cost/QALY tests disregards the doctor-patient perspective, replacing personal and individual health care decisions with an Excel spreadsheet that doesn’t reflect the fact that different drugs work differently on different patients and populations.

This move by CVS, and similar ones by other private and government payers, threatens vulnerable patients — especially those with chronic or rare diseases — the most, because they depend on their prescription drugs for their lives and livelihoods. It may save money but it’s unethical.

A recent report found that about three-quarters of Medicare Part B patients treated for rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lung cancer or multiple myeloma would face barriers to access if the government program used such cost-benefit frameworks to set coverage. It would also reduce cutting-edge research into breakthrough therapies and potential cures because investors couldn’t be sure they’d be able to recoup their investments.

Congress passed a law forbidding using QALY as a benchmark for access for Medicare. Lawmakers should follow suit and put it off limits to other private and government payers as well. Then we can get back to evaluating the many other quality proposals to lower prescription drug prices. <Source>

Of course, the progressives who are pushing this ideology are exempt from its consequences, much like being able to have private security to ensure their protection when they advocate releasing criminals back into the community. For those who want hard proof of the dangers of so-called government-managed healthcare, one need look no farther than England or Canada – or locally at the Veteran’s Administration or the American Indian Healthcare Service.

This is the payment and healthcare availability scheme under the progressive socialist democrats and progressive private companies…

healthcare-curve

If you fall outside the socialist’s ideas about “norms,” your life and healthcare are a crapshoot that is dependent on your wealth, your connection to politics, or your membership in an exempt group like a progressive union. The idea that healthcare can be quantified in this manner is ludicrous given the vagaries of human physiology and the number of simultaneous medical issues.

Bottom line…

Perhaps it is now time to rework the regulations that prevent pharmacies and institutions from buying pharmaceuticals directly from the manufacturer and doing away with the so-called middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers who exist solely to inflate prices and create artificial scarcities. Are we going to sit idly by as the progressives co-opt the leadership of billion-dollar private organizations to implement socialist-like rules and regulations from which there can be little or no appeal? How many people have died waiting for the courts to rule on the necessity of care issue and whether specific care is covered?

Insurance is supposed to cover catastrophic illness and disease – not kill you off as a non-productive member of society. In the real world, our values greatly influence our choices. However, in the socialist world, they limit our choices in order to dictate our values.

We are so screwed.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

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