Doctor: Obamacare MS Patients Could Pay $62,000 for Meds
One of the main arguments President Barack Obama used to ram through Obamacare was that it would provide affordable coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
However, Dr. Daniel Kantor, who treats multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and those suffering from other neurological disorders, told Fox News senior reporter Jim Angle that patients with serious pre-existing conditions like MS and lupus could be facing crippling drug costs under Obamacare due to something known as a "closed drug formulary."
"So it could be that a MS patient could be expected to pay $62,000 just for one medication," said Kantor. "That's a possibility under the new Obamacare going on right now."
Dr. Scott Gottlieb of the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) says that medicines not included on a pre-approved list receive zero coverage. Worse, drugs for some diseases like MS do not have generic versions available.
"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," explains Gottlieb.
That raises the specter of patients not taking their medications, says Dr. Kantor.
Gottlieb says that outside of Obamacare, specialized drugs would still be expensive, but patients at least get "some co-insurance, meaning the plans will pay some of the cost of that."
According to Angle's report, Obamacare may try to address the drug gap in the future. However, "Additional benefits cost more, though, meaning premiums would have to rise, or the networks of providers would shrink even further."
Obamacare patients with serious illness are already experiencing sticker shock. In a NY Post editorial earlier this month, a Tennessee woman with lupus who voted for Obama, Emilie Lamb, had her original health insurance plan canceled and had to take a second job to pay for her far more expensive Obamacare plan.
"Obamacare has made my life a nightmare," said Lamb. "Obamacare is a health plan that is both unaffordable and uncaring. For a law named 'The Affordable Care Act,' this is both backward and uncaring."