Tags: Ted | Kennedy | Health | Care

Ted Kennedy Health Care Not for Average Citizen

Thursday, 05 Jun 2008 12:23 PM

By Newsmax Staff

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The quality medical care Ted Kennedy quickly received after his brain cancer diagnosis would not be available to Americans if the U.S. adopted the healthcare policies advocated by the Massachusetts Senator and other liberals, an expert opines.

One day after an MRI found a tumor, Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant glioma, and less than two weeks later the tumor was removed by a leading brain cancer specialist at Duke University Medical Center.

He will take the chemotherapy drug Temodar and receive radiation treatments, according to Robert M. Goldberg, vice president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.

“Of course, with his wealth and power, Kennedy would get good treatment anywhere,” Goldberg writes in an opinion piece published in the New York Post. “But the same care is available to every American.

“Not so — if we make the health ‘reforms’ called for by Kennedy and other liberals.”

Those reforms would include universal healthcare coverage, and countries with such a policy “always wind up cutting corners simply to save money,” Goldberg observes. “People with Kennedy’s condition are dying or dead as a result.”

The expert cites the example of a 22-year-old woman in England — which has universal coverage — who complained of headaches for months, but had to wait a year to see a neurologist.

She then had to wait more than three months to get what Britain’s National Health Service decided was only a “relatively urgent” MRI scan.

Three days before the MRI appointment, she died.

As for the Temodar Kennedy is taking, the drug has been approved for use in the U.S. since 2000, but Britain’s National Institute for Comparative Effectiveness ruled that the drug wasn’t worth the money and denied coverage for it for seven years.

Even today, only a handful of people with brain tumors can get Temodar, and Brits who want to pay for the drug out of their own pocket are forced to pay for all their cancer care — about $30,000 a month, according to Goldberg. He notes:

“Barack Obama and other Democrats have been pushing a Senate bill to set up a similar U.S. ‘review board’ for Medicare and any future government healthcare plan.”

Goldberg also points out that in Canada, the wait for an MRI — after a referral is granted — is 10 weeks, and the government healthcare system refuses to pay for treatments that are often covered in the U.S.

Goldberg concludes: “In pushing for government-run healthcare, liberals are pushing for a system where only the Ted Kennedys of the world can get cutting-edge — and life-saving — care.”

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