Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So it begins: Obamacare forcing states to cap, cut prescription drug benefits for seniors and the poor

But they're the party of compassion, don't ya know:

A new report from Kaiser Health indicates states are now moving in the direction of capping or cutting prescription drug benefits.

Illinois Medicaid recipients have been limited to four prescription drugs as the state becomes the latest to cap how many medicines it will cover in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor.

Sixteen states impose a monthly limit on the number of drugs Medicaid recipients can receive and seven states have either enacted such caps or tightened them in the past two years, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KHN is a program of the foundation). The limits vary across the country. Mississippi has a limit of two brand-name drugs. In Arkansas adults are limited to up six drugs a month. Since June, Alabama has had the nation’s stingiest Medicaid drug benefit after limiting adults to one brand-name drug. HIV and psychiatric drugs were excluded. On Aug. 1 the state will relax the limit to its previous level — four brand-name drugs — after the restriction saved more money than expected and the state received money as part of a settlement with a pharmaceutical company.

Other states with Medicaid drug limits are Arkansas, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

Rationing issues in Obamacare have long been a concern of pro-life groups. Although the death panels — the voluntary advanced care planning that pro-life advocates have been concerned about because it could have doctors financially motivated to promote less medical care and lifesaving treatment — occupied most of the debate, the National Right to Life Committee says other provisions cause concern.

Joe Biden really was right for once. If your life depends on these prescription drugs, Obamacare really is a big f***in' deal.

Hat tip: BadBlue.