Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 4, 2009

Well, here I am again, late to the post! I guess I don't realize how I am not writing in to this thing that frequently, until someone brings it up to me. Well, no news is good news. There really isn't much to report on again. Anne has been doing incredibly well. She has passed the half-way point of her chemo and in fact yesterday had number 7, without any glitches whatsoever. Her white blood cell count and neutrophil counts are within normal range, thank God. She was also started on a new drug, Neulasta, which is apparently better than Neupogen to keep her WBCs and neutrophils up. It seems to be working. Thank you God for giving man the ability to research and come up with new drugs to help people. The Neulasta costs something like $4000 per shot (she'll get one every other week), but thankfully it is covered by my insurance, so I only have a $60 copay. I also thank God I have insurance that has covered a lot of these costs.

I guess I can't go on without commenting about what is going on with our healthcare debates (debacle would be a better word). The plan currently before Congress is a bad one. It is over 1100 pages, and there are a lot of problems with it, not least of which would be a true rationing of care to elderly patients, but I also believe to cancer patients. There is no question that in order for this plan to work, rationing will happen. The plan will look at not only your age, but also your prognosis, and decide if you deserve treatment or not. They will look at "the number of years the treatment will benefit you". If indeed your prognosis is poor, or you're old enough, you will not get the treatment if it "costs too much". They are concerned that most of the health care dollar spent in Medicare is spent in the last 2 months of life, for instance. Well, duh, most people with Medicare (insurance for those over 65) are a lot closer to the end of life than say a 30 year old with private insurance. But should we deny say a total hip to a vibrant 85 year old just becaus they don't have that many years left? Or chemotherapy to a cancer patient who has a not-so-good prognosis? Well, according to Obama, the answer is yes. He has stated that there should be counsellors who will help you make a decision to enter hospice, for example, rather than take treatments that "cost too much". Sorry, I don't buy that. According to my God, all human life is sacred, we are made in "the image of God". We all have value in the eyes of God, irrespective of our age or health or "social status" for instance. A decision to not be treated should be the individual's not society's. I don't want some counsellor telling me that I'm too old or too "expensive" to be treated. That's why I have private insurance, so I can make the choice, along with my insurance company, of course. But I can also choose to pay out of pocket if the insurance company won't pay. That would not be possible with a government-run insurance company, as happens in Canada, where it is illegal to go outside the national health plan (unless you can afford to come to the US).

And don't think Obama doesn't want a national health, single payor system. He has stated it a number of times, and it is preferred by a lot of Democrats in Congress. There are a lot of other issues that I am against with this health plan but this is not the place to talk about them. I just wanted to mention one that is near and dear to my heart.

I'll leave you with this passage:

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

~ Psalm 91:4, NLT

God bless,

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