Thousands of Medicare cancer patients lose chemo because of sequester

Thousands of Medicare patients are being turned away from cancer clinics, that were previously conducting their chemotherapy, because of the sequester’s cuts to Medicare.

Enough.  People are now going to start dying because of the Republicans.  And make no mistake, it is the Republicans’ fault.  The sequester was designed to force both sides to compromise. President Obama has made a compromise offer that cuts spending, but also closes tax loopholes for billionaires. The Republicans are refusing to compromise at all – they say they won’t close even one tax loophole for billionaires, and they’ll only turn off the sequester if Democrats agree to gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, an approached favored by a grand total of 0% of Americans.

And the biggest irony is that the Republicans’ solution to the sequester forcing elderly cancer patients out on the street is to replace the sequester Medicare cuts with Republican Medicare cuts that will – what? – force elderly cancer patients on the street.  Then again, the GOP is the party famous for declaring that they were going to let Medicare “wither on the vine.”

There’s another reason the Republicans are to blame.  For decades now, going back at least to the time of Ronald Reagan, Republicans have had no respect for the American government.  They’ve wanted America to believe that federal employees are all one big “welfare queen,” sucking at the teet of the taxpayer.  And thus, if we decimate the federal budget, it won’t harm a thing, because it’s “all waste and inefficiency.”

Elderly Patient via Shutterstock

Elderly Patient via Shutterstock

Tell that to the over-5,000 Medicare cancer patients being turned away from one oncology practice alone in the New York area because of the sequester cuts that went into effect April 1 for Medicare.  Imagine what’s happening nationwide.

Republicans don’t believe in our government, they never have.  It’s why they have such disdain for federal workers, especially judges, and its why they’re so close to the NRA and other gun-lovers who continually put out the message that Americans must arm themselves against the government.  How pro-America is that?  Not very.

John Stanton at Buzzfeed had a horrific story on Monday about Jeff Maryak, a 39-year-old Army reservist and combat vet, who now is thinking of going back to war in order to pay his debts.  You see, Maryak’s DOD salary was just cut by 27% because of the sequester.  Imagine your salary being cut by 27%, when you owe a mortgage.  When you have kids.  It’s disgusting that the Republicans are doing this to a combat vet because they care more about their billionaires, and they hate our government so much that if US service members are collateral damage, so be it.

And what a screwed up country we live in that cancer patients could be turned away at the door.  It’s beyond shameful. Then again, you can also blame the Republicans (and their conservative Democrat bought-out-by-Big-Pharma friends like Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus) for our insane health care system too. President Obama wanted to change it, but the Republicans and conservative Dems said “no.”  And now cancer patients are dying.  Heckuva job, GOP.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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