Obamacare enrollees with pre-existing conditions face sky-high drug costs

Obamacare enrollees with pre-existing conditions face sky-high drug costs

One of the groups Obamacare was supposed to benefit the most — people with pre-existing conditions — are among those that the law paradoxically is hurting the most. An eye-opening article by Jim Angle of Fox News notes that Americans with serious diseases such as lupus or multiple sclerosis, which require expensive drugs to manage, face a devastating provision of the law called a “closed drug formulary.”

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a physician and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is quoted as saying:

If the medicine that you need isn’t on that list, it’s not covered at all. You have to pay completely out of pocket to get that medicine, and the money you spend doesn’t count against your deductible, and it doesn’t count against your out of pocket limits, so you’re basically on your own.

We’re talking here about big-ticket items. One drug used to treat MS, Copaxone, currently costs as much $62,000 a year. Since there is no generic version, MS patients are left with no alternative but to dig deeply into pocket if they are to survive.

Some on the liberal side, including the insufferable Michael Moore, blame the drug companies. In a New York Times editorial last New Year’s Eve, Moore took aim at pharmaceutical firm Novartis, which manufactures Copaxone. Novartis is a favorite target of Obamacare supporters, who note that the company continued to charge patients tens of thousands of dollars per year after recouping research and development costs for another of its products, the leukemia drug Gleevec.

But reining in profits, even when they seem morally repugnant, is to begin the descent down a slippery slope that ends in full-fledged socialism. One has to wonder whether the Obama administration baked a closed drug formulary into the law precisely because it would create problems that could be solved by taking the next step — to a single payer system.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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