How ObamaCare Will Kill Americans

Tait Trussell is a national award-winning writer, former vice-president of the American Enterprise Institute and former Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.


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A major segment of ObamaCare will force cuts in drug and medical device research that “will kill more people than it will help,” according to an astonishing study quoted in Reason Magazine May 24. The government medical program was sold as better health at lower cost. But estimated economic cost will total $1.7 trillion, resulting in 32 million lost years of life.

The administration’s program is called federal Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided $1.1 billion for research and development in CER. This was to create an inventory of CER therapies to give patients, clinicians, and other decision-makers help in identifying medical alternatives. It is coordinated by the Federal Coordinating Council, run from the excessively bureaucratized Department of Health and Human Services.

President Obama obfuscated its role at the time of CER’s creation: “If there’s a red pill and a blue pill,” he said; “and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well, why not pay half price for the thing that’s going to make you well?” Wrong supposition, Barack.

CER is research that compares how different treatments and tests have worked on others, but are not necessarily successful on any specific patient.

From the get-go, critics worried that CER was the first step toward rationing health care based on costs determined by bureaucrats. Worry accelerated when Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick responded to the issue of when the best therapy may not be cost-effective. Berwick said, “At some point we might say nationally, regionally, or locally that we wish we could afford it, but we can’t.”

The Reason article was based on a new econometric study by University of North Carolina health care economist John Vernon and Robert Goldberg, president of the non-profit Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.

The great harm of CER is how it would affect drug and medical device research and development. Vernon and Goldberg maintain that pharmaceutical and medical device R&D would have to respond to dictates of CER by increasing the size and costs of clinical trials. So, CER would necessarily delay the availability of new treatments and slow the arrival of technology clinicians could use.

As costs stand today, according to research at the American Enterprise Institute, the typical expense of bringing a new drug to market after clinical trials and regulatory approval is $1 billion.

Vernon and Goldberg wrote that the clinical trials stage makes up 30 percent of the cost of developing a new drug. They calculate that, conservatively, the CER would raise R&D costs by 50 percent. They figure the amount needed to be spent for R&D would be reduced by CER by about $32 billion over ten years. Earlier research, they report, indicates that every $1,345 invested in drug research creates an added life-year in the U.S. They wrote that reducing R&D by about $32 billion would result in roughly 34 million lost years of additional life. That would amount to a national total of $1.7 trillion in economic losses. Less conservative estimates, they say, push the losses up to $4 trillion.

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  • davarino

    It looks like they are going to reduce the population through the back door rather than outright slaughter. The environmentalists must be very happy.

    If only we could force the politicians to live under the same rules that the rest of us schmucks have to tolerate, but they are special, they deserve the good stuff cause they work so hard for us.

  • Steeloak

    Nope, no death panels here! Nothing to see here folks, move along!

    • Dennis X

      Yeah , that $5,600 vocher is really going to go a long way for seniors, NOT!

  • onewiththemeans

    It really concerns me to see just how ignorant outr young people are to the perils of atheistic socialism. Our public schools have been a huge success in throwing freedom. morality and human dignity under the bus. Yep, keep paying those atheistic socialists of our public schools our tax payer dollars to ensure the demise of the greatest nation this world has ever known. So short-lived, our prosperity. Generally speaking, our children are idiots and it is all our fault – complacent fools we are.

  • Barbara

    Now Obama is a doctor

  • Jim_C

    Can you say "re-election iwill be a cakewalk?"

    • USMCSniper

      Hey Jim C, read the Drudge Reaport about all the black teen thuggers that are rioting robbing and assaulting people at beach resorts in Miami, Boston, flash mobbing stores in Philly, Chicago, New York Miami. Need to have some selective culling by don't you think?

  • sedoanman

    “'If there’s a red pill and a blue pill,' he said…"

    "If" is the biggest word in the English language.

  • glenn

    As a health agent for all ages I really do not like the President's plan. That said, there are tremendous costs associated with end-of-life for our seniors on Medicare. I have seen estimates of 30% of Medicare total annual costs are spend ont he last three months of patient's lives, or 20% on the last two weeks. As conservative as I am, the reality is still there and we need to deal with it. Somebody needs to address the issue without imposing the beauraucratic "death panels" we have heard about. My wife and I hit Medicare this year and I don't want my costs transferred to my grandchildren, even if I have to wait, which I probably will not have to worry about. We have got to do something.

    • Howard Long

      Glenn, do not retire.
      Bismark imposed that to make room for younger men in his stagnant economy.
      I am 84, helping patients better than ever and trying to persuade people like you
      not to rot. Use your muscles and head, so as not to lose them.

      Howard Long MD MPH

  • R. E. Brossman

    I would rather go out in a folash during a major war than be lied to and rationed to death.

    Ibet there are millions just like me.

  • R. E. Brossman

    That should be "FLASH" not folash.

  • R. E. Brossman

    Now that I have the soapbox, Obama and most of the world's dictators know they have to reduce their populations or else a so-called Arab Spring is going to eventually pop up and kill them.
    Starting a nuclear war has the advantage of rapidly reducing population; hence unfunded liabilities, so I look for Obama to try this pproach before his is hung out to dry.