Thursday, September 30, 2010

British ObamaCare update: English get cancer drugs, Scots don't

"Postcode lottery" is a British term to describe the capricious distribution of resources, such as medicine, to some parts of the UK, but not others. It's stoic form of rationing.

It can happen here. If ObamaCare survives the drive to repeal it, private insurers will either driven out of business or become government-controlled quasi-utilities. Government does not perform tasks effeciently or fairly, so a ZIP Code lottery could emerge. Someone who lives in Chicago's 60640 ZIP Code might get receive a life-saving cancer drug, while someone else in 60641 might not.

Or a Wisconsin resident will, but an Illinoisan won't.

Far-fetched? When Britain's National Health Service launched 60 years ago, not even its harshest opponents ever dreamed of a postcode lottery.

From The Scotsman:

Cancer patients in Scotland will miss out on drugs which are now available to sufferers in England through a new treatment fund, campaigners have warned.

The Rarer Cancers Foundation (RCF) said 18 treatments had been rejected for use on the NHS in Scotland, many used in less common diseases such as kidney and bone cancers.

But a new cancer drugs fund being launched in England today should mean that more patients south of the border will receive therapies which have also been rejected by watchdogs there.

The RCF has written to First Minister Alex Salmond calling for action to address the "worrying inequality" now in danger of emerging.
William Wallace, where are you now?

Related posts:

British ObamaCare update: Inadequate hygiene in Scotland
NHS buys porn for sperm donors
British ObamaCare update: Hospital produces instructional handwashing video for doctors and nurses
British ObamaCare update: Record increase in complaints
British ObamaCare update: Elderly left to starve in hospitals
British ObamaCare update: Rationing and shunning
British ObamaCare update: Wife succeeds in getting proper care for husband--after going on hunger strike
British ObamaCare update: Over 300 NHS bosses make more than prime minister
British ObamaCare update: Gov't-run health care not really redistributional
British ObamaCare update: Even more rationing could be coming
British ObamaCare update: First baby born under NHS feels betrayed by system
British ObamaCare update: New PM looking at hospital with 1,200 needless deaths
British Obama Care update: Rationing expanded, kids are the victims
British ObamaCare update: Life-saving drug judged too expensive
British ObamaCare update: Hospital seeking "Hair Removal Specialist - Transgender Services"
British ObamaCare update: Babies' blood used for secret DNA database
British ObamaCare update: Dead bodies dumped on floor of morgue
British ObamaCare update: Health care workers asked to rate Hitler on "coolness"
British ObamaCare update: Bureaucrats getting in the way of saving lives
British ObamaCare update: Fighting waste is not so easy
British ObamaCare update: Hero left to lie in own excrement
British ObamaCare update: Woman barred from surgery after seeing private doctor
British ObamaCare update: Basic surgeries being withheld to save money
2009 British ObamaCare entries

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Joel Pollak to file ethics complaint against Jan Schakowsky over favor to donor

One of Mrs. Marathon Pundit's friends lost her home to foreclosure. But she didn't contribute money to the campaign fund of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston). Perhaps she should have.

From a Joel Pollak campaign press release:

NILES, IL - Joel Pollak, Republican challenger in the 9th district of Illinois, will file an ethics complaint Monday with the Office of Congressional Ethics against incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky over her intervention to help a wealthy political contributor re-negotiate the terms of his loans with a failed bank.

The complaint alleges:

"At the urging of one of her contributors, Mr. Balvinder Singh ($500 in 2004, $2000 in 2006), Rep. Schakowsky pressured United Central Bank to ease the terms of repayment for loans he and other borrowers obtained from its failed predecessor, Mutual Bank of Harvey. She has not offered similar help to the many thousands of homeowners and business owners in her district who are struggling to pay their loans."

The complaint further alleges that Schakowsky violated House of Representatives guidelines on assisting contributors:

"Because a Member’s obligations are to all constituents equally, considerations such as political support, party affiliation, or campaign contributions should not affect either the decision of a Member to provide assistance or the quality of help that is given... House Members, too, should be aware of the appearance of impropriety that could arise from championing the causes of contributors and take care not to show favoritism to them over other constituents." (House Ethics Manual, 2008 edition, pp. 308-9)

The complaint will be filed on Monday with the Office of Congressional Ethics, according to Pollak for Congress campaign manager Ashley Kain, due to a Jewish holiday falling today and Friday, which Pollak is observing.

"The people of the 9th district are tired of the corrupt 'Chicago way' that Jan Schakowsky represents," Kain said. "Joel Pollak is standing up to corruption and fighting for a fresh start."

According to an article published today by Steve Daniels in Crain's Chicago Business, Mr. Singh has contributed over $30,000 to Democratic candidates.

The Mutual Bank of Harvey was the same bank that facilitated a questionable real estate deal between Barack Obama and Tony Rezko, who was later convicted of fraud. The bank's former CEO was also a fundraiser for disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted last month of lying to the FBI.
The south suburban bank loaned the funds for Rita Rezko to purchase the property south of the Obama mansion, "the Rezko lot," pictured on the right two years ago.

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Cook Political: WVSen now a toss up

The Democrats must feel that they are captaining a deteriorating boat--every few miles a new leak is discovered. The West Virginia US Senate race is just the latest of those leaks.

From the Cook Political Report, free registration required:

This special election to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Robert Byrd's term was supposed to be a walk in the park for Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin. The Democratic-controlled state legislature set the table for him with an advantageous schedule of filing deadlines, primaries and special election dates. But, recent polling indicates that this will be anything but an easy race.

A Rasmussen (IVR) poll (September 27 of 750 likely voters) gave Republican businessman John Raese a two-point lead over Manchin, 48 percent to 46 percent. A Public Policy Polling (IVR) survey taken a week earlier (September 18-19 of 1,397 likely voters) had Raese ahead, 46 percent to 43 percent. Among all general election ballot tests taken in the contest, Raese now leads Manchin by three points, 49 percent to 46 percent, according to the trend line.

Although Manchin remains popular – his job approval rating in a September 19 Rasmussen survey was 69 percent – he must make the transition from being the state's chief executive to being a federal candidate in a hostile climate for his party. A case in point is President Obama whose approval ratings in West Virginia are some of his lowest nationally. According to the PPP survey, Obama's job ratings were 30-percent approve to 64-percent disapprove. At the same time, Manchin is getting help from some unlikely sources. It’s not surprising that he's been endorsed by the major labor unions, but he’s also gotten the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce. Even more surprising is today’s endorsement from the West Virginia Coal Association, which is a very direct slap at Raese, who is in the coal business.
Related post:

WVSen: Report from the bloggers' conference call with John Raese

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