A Preview Of Universal Health Care: Oregon Woman Denied Medicine, Offered Assisted Suicide Instead

One of the beautiful things about living in the United States is that with 50 states, we can compare and contrast varying policies to see how well they work or how miserably they fail. We can also predict how national policy will play out by observing how a similar policy affects a particular state.

Oregon is a state that has Universal Health Care. According to KVAL of Eugene, Oregon:

Barbara Wagner has one wish – for more time.

“I’m not ready, I’m not ready to die,” the Springfield woman said. “I’ve got things I’d still like to do.”

Her doctor offered hope in the new chemotherapy drug Tarceva, but the Oregon Health Plan sent her a letter telling her the cancer treatment was not approved.

Instead, the letter said, the plan would pay for comfort care, including “physician aid in dying,” better known as assisted suicide.

So, why was it not approved by a state that promised Universal Care?

One critic of assisted suicide calls the message disturbing nonetheless.

“People deserve relief of their suffering, not giving them an overdose,” said Dr. William Toffler.

He said the state has a financial incentive to offer death instead of life: Chemotherapy drugs such as Tarceva cost $4,000 a month while drugs for assisted suicide cost less than $100.

And here is the real kicker:

[Dr. Som] Saha said state health officials do not consider whether it is cheaper for someone in the health plan to die than live. However, he admitted they must consider the state’s limited dollars when dealing with a case such as Wagner’s.

“If we invest thousands and thousands of dollars in one person’s days to weeks, we are taking away those dollars from someone,” Saha said.

There is a sinlge word to describe the above situation: RATIONING.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Health Plan Covers Assisted Suicide But Not New Cancer Treatment
Susan Harding
July 31, 2008


15 Responses

  1. I allow you to read the article, I hope your article is useful for reading, keep posting, thanks.

  2. I just finished reading this, and find it beyond belief. In our country you do not condemn sick people to death. Any doctors that support this madness should lose their license to practice.

  3. Good job, 84rules! Just a hint of what we’ll be facing if Obamacare passes and becomes law.

  4. In response to the woman in Oregon denied the cancer drug she needed. I know many drug companies will provide assistance to those that do not have insurance or can not afford a needed drug. Did she consider this before it was blasted all over the US Oregon government would not pay for the drug to prolong her life???

    I think all sides and outlets need to be considered before an issue so sensitive is taken out ot contents.

    We all should (Democrats and Republicans) come together as Americans and come to a plan to save our country. We should support our leaders and direct them to what we need.

    • Teresa,

      There should have been no need for her to contact anyone. She was promised “universal” care and those promising such care also promised that no one would be turned down. Both of those promises were broken. If we adopt the provisions in HR3200, this will become commonplace throughout the United States.

      We are trying to tell out leaders what we want, but they are not listening. Instead, they are bringing in SEIU and ACORN thugs to drown us out.

  5. […] It’s just a matter of time.  When the government decides it’s too expensive to pay for your procedure, they will eventually do what Oregon does to pay for Universal Health Care.  Only pay for Assisted Suicide. […]

  6. There are some key pieces of information that seem to be left off in the telling of this story.

    At the time of this story (early 2008) Tarceva had yet to be approved by Oregon (and about 20 other states) and was considered experimental.

    The letter from OHP (Oregon’s Medicaid) specifically said they would pay for palliative care and hospice.

    Tarceva does not cure cancer in any way – what it does, in clinical trials, is extend someone’s life 6.5 months instead of 4.7 months people on the placebo averaged.

    OHP had paid for her previous surgery, chemotherapy, home health nurse, 100%, but denied Tarceva because it was experimental and because they don’t pay for drugs that don’t have AT LEAST a 5% 5 year survival rate. Tarceva can’t even claim that 5% rate for 1 year, much less 5.

    Is it harsh to ration medical care this way? Yes. On the other hand, if you google the terms “tarceva insurance denied” you’ll come up with pages and pages of stories about private firms – and one state – denying Tarceva because of its limited benefit.

  7. health plans should be given priority because it is very important “

  8. Hello, I’m working on like your post and I have some questions to you. Where did you find informations for your blog post? In gazettes, maybe in rags or encyclopedias, or just randomly on the Web? Please reply :).

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  10. As i definitely prefer the things you place in this article. Highly unusual and even brilliant. 1 situation however. I’m operating Safari through Debian and even pieces from your up-to-date format articles is a modest wonky. As i notice it’s a fantastic regular put together. Nevertheless it’s a specific thing to help you have in view. As i trust going without shoes might allow and even always keep in the main high-quality authoring.

  11. It’s pretty interesting that the mainstream media has changed the way it looks at this recently dont you think? Now it seems that it is discussed thoroughly and more in depth. Overall though I’m looking for a change.

  12. Good read, thanks for putting it out there.

  13. Our tax money can purchase a sex change for a prisoner but not medicine for Barbara Wagner. Our government should feel severely shamed by this.

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