Tag Archive | "medicare"

The President’s Debt Cutting Plan All Set

U.S. Presiden Barack Obama is expected to settle differences with Republicans on Wednesday to draw out a plan regarding the country’s growing debt and some saving options. Some of these saving alternatives are possible tax increase and trimming costs in a couple of government programs such as Medicare.

Officials said on Monday this week that Obama will set a new deficit-reduction goal that will potentially benefits the country in the long run. This is a huge contradiction to the plans of Republicans to cut at least $5 trillion in the next ten years.

Specific details of the said plan are still confidential but is expected to reach public knowledge during Obama’s speech, Wednesday. The speech will serve as a declaration of the president’s commitment to push his long-term budget principles.

After the president’s direct avoidance of issues regarding his planned cuts on very important programs for the old and poor, he is now expected to acknowledge budget cuts on Medicaid and Medicare. However, the White House said that Obama also aims to increase tax collection from the wealthy.

While Obama makes his speech Wednesday at George Washington University, the Congress prepares for a feisty fight to increase the country’s debt limit. Republicans will use this to take out more discipline from the president and the rest of the Democrats.

Many speculate that the president’s speech will confirm his stand that he will never cut costs on education, infrastructure, research, innovation, and energy. Whatever the outcome of Wednesday’s speech is, the White House wants to make sure that people understand that this recent debate on this year’s budget is not the same with the much needed talk on the nation’s debt.

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$93,000 Cost of Prostate Cancer Drug will be Paid by Medicare

Officials from Medicare already announced, Wednesday, that they will cover the $93,000 cost of Provenge. Provenge is a drug that is said to give men with end-stage prostate cancer four more months to live.

Medicare said that the drug manufactured by Dendreon Corporation is a very important drug and they want to ensure the drug will become accessible to a lot of men. Because of this, analysts said that Dendreon could sell up to $1 billion worth of the drugs. The decision will be finalized on June 30 and is said to be very important because most men with prostate cancer are 65 years old and above.

Naturally, Medicare covers drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration. FDA cleared Provenge April 2010. Medicare’s decision to review coverage of the drug caused outburst from the public. They said that this is only the government’s way of avoiding reimbursing a costly drug.

Provenge is one of a kind as it is the first, and so far the only drug that utilizes the patient’s immune system to fight the cancer cells. Studies have shown that it can increase prognosis of prostate cancer by 100%. Moreover, it causes fewer side effects than chemotherapy.

Jim Kiefert, a prostate cancer patient, said that among all the treatments he had, Provenge had the least number of side effects. He further said that no one can put a price tag on human health, especially for a drug with very minimal side effects.

Bioethicists, however, argue that Medicare’s decision shows how bias the overall health care system in the U.S. is. Health care takes one fifth of the country’s economy only because the government tends to take pride in high technology, rather than going back to the basics.

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