Article in Mother Jones
by Kevin Drum, 4/9/12
Over at the Plum Line, Jonathan Bernstein riffs off a White House infographic on judicial appointments to remind us that although the Senate has been pretty obstructionist when it comes to confirming judges, it's also the case that Obama hasn't exactly been a house afire when it comes to nominating judges in the first place. Point taken! But when I clicked the link to take a look at the White House's latest graphic wizardry, I was surprised to learn that one of Obama's Supreme Court nominees was the first ever with a disability to win confirmation. I had no idea. But Google, as always, is my friend, and after first coming up dry on Elena Kagan, I discovered that Sonia Sotomayor has diabetes.
Did I already know this? Maybe. My memory is so bad that I couldn't tell you whether I once knew this and have forgotten, or whether I had never heard this before. In any case, I guess I've added two new bits of knowledge to my brain pan today: (1) Sonia Sotomayor has diabetes, and (2) diabetes is considered a disability. Live and learn.
How about an encapsulated islet cell transplant sample? God forbid we should have access to something that could potentially get us off insulin altogether. I could see it now.. All the manufacturers in a picket line "No Diabetes Cure"
I still don't buy the "picket line" suggestion as there would still be an endless supply of future buyers, since the problem would not alleviate the root causes of diabetes?
Let's say Viacyte or a similar company has a breakthrough with transplantation but the transplant only lasts for two to three years and has to be repeated. Let's say the transplant is $20K a pop. Who of average money could pay for that? Because insulin therapy is still considered an effective treatment despite its very dangerous I just don't see insurance paying for a procedure. And even if they did many people with diabetes don't have insurance, me being one of them. Unless someone can offer a breakthrough treatment that cost no more then diabetes supplies for the year which other then test strips is really not that much I think there will be only a limited amount of patients that would benefit. If it came down to it I would pay them $10 a month for the rest of my life.
$20K? That's nothing. Saving $3650 test strips/ year (being *conservative*, like an insurance company...) would cover that in 5 1/2 years, and doesn't even start in on the doctor visits, insulin, syringes, pumps or whatever. They'd do it in a minute!
not to be a downer.. but i've been trying to afford a pump FOR 10 YEARS and its still a dream. and pumps are nowhere near 20k
They are 8K and I've had 3 of them (original, failure replaced under warranty which, bizarrely, doesn't "reset" the warranty, and a 3rd one so, since 2008, I've 'covered' the 20K which Gary had suggested in some other thread "if the [I don't recall which treatment] cost $20K, insurance companies wouldn't go for it". They'd be going for it left and right. An amputation runs about $20-30K but the huge cost is the subsequent disability of the person. Getting rid of that stuff would be huge.
@AR, the HBO for my foot alone was over 100k - they charged $1850 per pop and I did 60 treatments. Then add in all the hospital stays, 4 surgeries, home nurses, doctor visits and drugs to name a few.
That was to *not* amputate it though! ;-) I was being very conservative w/ the numbers. If we really added it up, used one syringe/ shot, one lancet/ test, one reimbursable alcohol swab/ test, etc., you could put quite a cost profile together...even without HBO!
I know you meant to not amputate, but I was just trying to prove your point, it is expensive to keep us alive. Even without the HBO, all the other wound crap was pretty expensive - you have to go thru a lot of that before they chop it off.
Actually it's just a figure I made up. I have really no idea how much a transplant of that magnitude would be. But speculation is most likely that kind of transplant would only function for a few years as best. They won't know until they test it. It could be $50K a pop? I have no ideal. If you had to go say every two years because the cells had to be replaced and it was even $20K it would be unrealistic for most people. I make only about $20K a year right now and its more or less a dead end job.
Personally, I am very pleased to have a role model for our young people with diabetes. In fact, she's a role model for me!
"Me too". Taking advantage of my slight youth over Justice Sotomayor to count myself with the young people :-)