publication date: Feb. 14, 2014


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By Conor Hale

In a recent article published in the Journal of Oncology Practice, oncologists Ray Drasga and Lawrence Einhorn called on their colleagues to support “an improved Medicare for all” program.

The provisions of the Affordable Care Act are insufficient to solve the crises facing American cancer patients, they wrote in the journal published by the American Society for Clinical Oncology.

They authors proposed a comprehensive system run by a public agency and funded by a mix of payroll and income taxes (The Cancer Letter, Jan. 31).

In response, Gary Jones, an assistant professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at Case Western Reserve University and director of the university’s MS in Anesthesia Program in Houston, published a critique of the proposal on MedPage Today.

“Anyone in medicine who values evidence-based practice, one of our core competencies, needs only look at the evidence to see that an expansion of government controlled healthcare will hurt the healthcare system, the physician, and, ultimately, the patient,” Jones wrote.

In a list of eight points, he covers administrative costs, personal bankruptcies related to healthcare bills, and patient outcomes.

Drasga and Einhorn then delivered their own response to the critique, also published as a guest blog on MedPage Today.

“We read the rebuttal by Mr. Jones and appreciate his time and effort to comment upon our article in Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP). Medical oncologists are particularly data-driven and make clinical decisions based upon evidence-based medicine,” they wrote. “Initially, data becomes information which can then lead to a change in standard practice. However, sometimes data simply permits us to form opinions and write commentaries.”

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