Monday, April 13, 2015

The Greatest Setback for Cancer Research Is Obamacare

Stephen Moore writes:
The reason cancer deaths have been on the rise over the last half century is because other maladies have been largely eradicated. People used to die of typhoid fever, tuberculosis, influenza, and bronchitis—all diseases that were major killers and of children. Cancer is often an old age/degenerative disease. Alas, you have to die of something. A century ago, cancer and heart disease were the cause of about one-quarter of all deaths. Today, they account for approximately 40 percent of all deaths. One American every minute of every day is a cancer casualty.

But the all-important age-adjusted death rate from cancer is falling in the United States and much of the rest of the world. For any particular age group—particularly the young—cancer is less a threat than before. This is true of many types of cancer, including leukemia—which is a killer of children. The most impressive strides have been made in reducing cancer deaths for women. The age-standardized death rate for women from breast cancer has fallen by one-third since the 1980s.

One of the prevalent myths about cancer is that environmental factors—such as air pollution—have caused a cancer epidemic.  The truth is that improvements in air and water quality over the past 30 years have contributed to the decline in cancer death rates.

Another myth is that the decline in cancer deaths is happening for the “haves” but not the “have nots.” The film’s experts make a politically correct call for universal health care as a way to treat cancer. The poor are not getting treatments, we are led to believe. But cancer rates for everyone—the young and the old, the rich and the poor, blacks and whites, men and women. Yes, minorities and blacks have higher rates of cancer deaths than whites and wealthy Americans. But for many types of cancer, the rate of death of cancer is falling faster for minorities than for whites. For whites, the survival rate for cancer is up from 39 percent in 1960–63 to about 69 percent now. For blacks the probability of survival has roughly risen from one in four in the early 1960s to 60 percent today.   The cancer gap is shrinking....

the greatest setback for cancer research and wonder treatments in modern times is Obamacare. That dismal law puts new taxes on the next generation of life-saving drugs, vaccines and medical devices. It may be the dumbest tax in history. Mr. President, if you want more of something, you don’t raise taxes on it, you cut them. Repealing these taxes is one small step Washington could take to accelerate the race for the cure and save millions of lives each year. What are we waiting for?

1 comment:

  1. The dysfunctional payment structure in healthcare where doctor and patient no longer negotiate services and payment directly and results in medical professionals focusing on the pot of gold at the end of the medicare/medicaid/insurance policy rainbow rather than their patient has not been changed by Obamacare nor noticed by Moore. Removing new taxes that Obamacare places on "drugs, vaccines, and medical devices" will not change this dysfunction. Nor will it improve healthcare. But it might funnel more dollars to special interest groups in the "research" industry which have provided nothing other than that fear-inducing phrase: You've got cancer!" Despite Moore's use of statistics and politicized catch phrases (age-related-death-rate) there is no proof that any of the government funded cancer research has been life enhancing. Moore should either shut up or constantly, repeatedly, emphatically call for a complete separation of healthcare from government.