I’ve had a long week. I won’t bore you with the details, because this blog isn’t about me, nor are my problems worth your time. I tell you this only because as much as I wish I could bring it, I’ve got no snark for this. It’s too much. From yesterday’s NYT:
Effective at the beginning of October, Arizona stopped financing certain transplant operations under the state’s version of Medicaid. Many doctors say the decision amounts to a death sentence for some low-income patients, who have little chance of survival without transplants and lack the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to pay for them.
“The most difficult discussions are those that involve patients who had been on the donor list for a year or more and now we have to tell them they’re not on the list anymore,” said Dr. Rainer Gruessner, a transplant specialist at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. “The frustration is tremendous. It’s more than frustration.”
I think I’ve built up enough credibility to say you’ll know I’m not posturing when I say that we do need to reduce health care costs. We do. But this is just wrong. You don’t get a transplant to feel better about yourself. You don’t get one to have a slightly better quality of life. You don’t get one because you can’t be bothered to make lifestyle changes.
You get a transplant to save your life.
Evidently, Arizona has decided to discontinue to allow Medicaid to pay for lung transplants, and some liver, bone marrow, and pancreas transplants. Want to know how much they will be saving?
About $4.5 million. Seriously.
But that’s not why I can’t make a joke. It’s because, when confronted with this, the governor of that state couldn’t stop politicking. When asked why Arizona was doing this, she blamed it on “Obamacare”. There’s just one small problem. The Arizona bill was voted on in March, “before before President Obama signed [PPACA] into law.”
I really don’t know how to joke. Some people complain about government spending, but can only find a way to cut a few million dollars, and do so by literally depriving life saving treatment to poor people who need it. These same people then dare to utter words like “death panels” when referring to something that is nothing of the sort. And when confronted with the facts of what they’ve done, they blame something else, something that factually could not be the cause, because it occurred after their decision.
I’m done. I hope you have a good weekend. I’m cutting out and heading over to Sun King Brewery to refill my growlers. If something good happens, please do let me know.