HIV/AIDS: The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times

Dickensian bleakness intended, I’m sure.

From my friend David Mixner, an article about HIV, Medicare, and a potential looming mess. A taste:

When you get to accountability, we face an enormous problem with Medicare with the passage of the new health care law. Thrilled as I was with this major step forward, there is one part that is extremely disturbing to me. Especially since my journey over the years has taught me the urgent need to hold our public officials accountable for their actions in this battle for a cure.

Quite simply, with the creation of an entity called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), we could lose our ability to put pressure for change. This new board is simply not accountable to anyone….

The mere existence of an unchecked, powerful agency making life-determining decisions should be worrisome to all Medicare beneficiaries. Draconian decisions by IPAB to limit access to medicines to treat HIV will be free from judicial review, the need for advance public notice, or even appeals from patients.

Thanks, David, for helping us all to pay attention where it’s needed.