Dan Liljenquist: Sen. Orrin Hatch made the right choice on this tough issue

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  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    I couldn't even read the entire article. How absurd! These lump sums they are paying do cause health care providers to keep costs down. My mother in law was talked into having hospice. We didn't truly understand what they do. Now I know that they legally kill people. To make it short, my mother law was doing well. She was talking about summer. We had dinner and went home. At !0:00 pm the hospice called. they were looking for medicine. It didn't seem right. We went down there. they had overdosed her on morphine, when she had no pain, and some other medicine. They were gone, and she was dying! They killed her! That is what the lump sum payments do. They had only started seeing her 20 days before she died! I guess it is less expensive when people die! ask yourself if that lump sum payment is good for us? My aunt died within 10 days of starting hospice! I bet my mother in law had 6- 12 months of good quality time she could have spent with us! Also, what Hatch did was wrong, plain and simple

  • ray vaughn Ogden, UT
    March 29, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    The main benefit of inserting Amgen language in the bill is to provide repayment for years of receiving campaign contributions from the people who most benefit from the bill. By inserting a special and unrelated provision in the bill Orrin Hatch gives another example of why federal spending is out of control.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 29, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    Hatch opposed efforts to enable HHS to negotiate on drug prices, and the taxpayers are paying much more than necessary. More payoff for the pharms. All the sophistry, rationalizations, etc. won't change the fact that this is dirty stuff. There is convincing argument to support all spedning. So does Liljenquist support it, too? The hypocrisy in all this is just simply astounding!

  • Cameron Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 28, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    This story exemplifies everything that is wrong with Washington and with govt health care.

    First, Hatch slipped this in at the last minute. No one who voted on the fiscal cliff bill had any idea this drug exemption was in it. This is not how Congress should be doing business. I'm proud to say Senator Lee voted against it for that very reason.

    Second, apparently the exemption was sought for because Medicare is set to force hospitals to charge a lower price for this drug. Which is exactly what every politician in DC is talking about doing for all of healthcare. Let's just have the govt make everyone lower their prices! Well that's all well and good until no one is willing to produce it for that price.

    Fiddling around with measures like this one is just playing at the margins of health care reform. It's not really fixing anything. And as we've seen, what it really does is create an incentive for a drug maker to give millions of dollars to a powerful senator so that their drug can escape government price controls. It's Atlas Shrugged being played out in real life.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    March 28, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    Why couldn't this decision be made on merits alone? Why does it have to be bought?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 28, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    Oh please, Dan, you don't honestly believe O. Hatch "studied the issue"? Even he doesn't explain his vote this way. I've been a pharma consultant for 20 years, and I know exactly what happened -- a big giveaway to Amgen and big negative for ESRD sufferers. Who do you think you're kidding?

  • bald man running ,
    March 28, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    Dan, I knew there would come a time when I disagreed with you on something. This may in fact have been the right policy decision (even a blind squirrel... or in this case, an octogenarian senator...), but in NO CASE should it have been inserted at the last minute into a bill that no one had time to read. If indeed this was good policy, it deserved its own debate and its own up-or-down vote, and should not have been shoehorned into an 11th hour (or was it a 13th hour?) "fiscal cliff" emergency bill.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    Another op ed from Liljenquist. D'ya suppose he's keeping his name in the lights for future political purposes?