Concern about the harm Obamacare would do to our health care led me to run for public office. Unfortunately, we are already seeing the first negative consequences of government run health care. The most recent example is news about FDA treatment of two cancer drugs -- Provenge, which is used to treat prostate cancer, and Avastin, which can delay the spread of breast cancer.
Avastin is already used in brain, kidney, lung and colon cancer. The drug prevents the blood flow tumors need to grow and has been shown to significantly improve the quality of life in some patients with metastatic breast cancer.
The Washington Post reports, "Federal regulators are considering taking the highly unusual step of rescinding approval of a drug that patients with advanced breast cancer turn to as a last-ditch hope The FDA is not supposed to consider costs in its decisions, but if the agency rescinds approval, insurers are likely to stop paying for treatment."
Last month I explained the reason Dr. Donald Berwick -- President Obama's recess-appointed Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services -- is a dangerous choice. Because in that position Dr. Berwick will control whether doctors and hospitals get paid by Medicare -- which means he can force doctors and hospitals to unwillingly participate in rationing of care. And because Britain's National Health Service -- the system Berwick cited as his model -- routinely denies cutting edge cancer drugs.
Now we see Berwick faced with the type of life and death decision that many warned about and he is reportedly "considering denying Medicare reimbursement for patients using Provenge and Avastin."
Berwick has said in the past, "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care--the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."
Whether he does it with eyes open or closed, government rationing of health care services will cost lives for some and quality of life for many more -- in this case denying a beneficial drug to women with advanced stage breast cancer. These are decisions no government bureaucrat in Washington should ever have power to make.
The FDA is supposed to make decisions based on product safety and effectiveness -- not cost. But under Obamacare we see all aspects of our health care system beginning to change. As a woman and a nurse, I am troubled to see how this will affect women with breast cancer. This is one more reason I will fight to repeal Obamacare.
The only way to repeal Obamacare is to defeat Obama's lapdogs in Congress. Bob Etheridge told seniors he would never vote to cut Medicare, but one week later voted for Obamacare with half a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts.
I want a government that sends a message to breast cancer patients that they are more important than cutting costs. Please join me.