One of the canards slung at the Affordable Care Act is that it creates â€śdeath panelsâ€ť that would allow the government to deny patients lifesaving treatments, even though two independent and non-partisan fact-checking organizations found it would do no such thing.
I donâ€™t bring this up now to rehash the debate, but because the New York Times hadÂ a recent story on Arizonaâ€™s decision to deny certain transplants to Medicaid enrollees — â€śdeath by budget cutsâ€ť in the words of reporter Marc Lacey. His story profiles several patients who died when they were unable to raise money on their own to fund a transplant. Lacey quotes a physician expert on transplants who flatly states: â€śThereâ€™s no doubt that people arenâ€™t going to make it because of this decision.â€ť
Arizona Medicaid officials told the Times that they â€śrecommended discontinuing some transplants only after assessing the success rates for previous patients. Among the discontinued procedures are lung transplants, liver transplants for hepatitis C patients and some bone marrow and pancreas transplants, which altogether would save the state about $4.5 million a year.â€ť Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*