November 24. Welcome to PSA Rising
Magazine. Prostate cancer survivors from Arizona, Nevada
and Northern and Southern California met in Phoenix on Saturday
and joined forces in an effort to defeat the move toward Least Costly
Alternative (LCA) in the western states. They formed a working committee
in addition to the new organization PCAN, Prostate Cancer Action
Harry Pinchot, an active patient in
Northern California, e-mailed the 1,300 members of Prostate Pointers
Mailing List late Monday night with a report of some 2,500 letters
sent out to members of the Prostate Forum, the PCg, US-TOO! and
The Wellness Community in California.
Ralph Valle, head of PCAN and a list
owner of PPML and April Becker of US-TOO! Active Partners have spoken
to "several support groups," Pinchot said.
"No longer do I feel alone crying
in the wilderness," Pinchot said. "We are on the move
and gathering momentum. If we all work together we can and will
defeat this dangerous proposal. I do not agree with those who say
that we can not win. I prefer to look to the men and their families
in Iowa who DID act and DID defeat LCA in their state. If they can
do it we can do it."
A new model letter (below) is ready
for you to send to medicare officials and elected representatives.
In California, send first and foremost to Dr. Lurvey. His e-mail,
if you choose, is:
Addresses for your elected representatives are on
Dr. Arthur Lurvey
Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance
1150 South Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-2211
Dear Dr. Lurvey:
I am writing in strong opposition to the proposed Least
Costly Alternative (LCA) Medicare policy. Prostate cancer
treatments should be determined by a patient and his doctor
- not by insurance companies or the government.
This policy would limit prostate cancer treatment options
by dictating that patients on hormone therapy only be reimbursed
for the cheapest available treatment. Doctors and patients
would be forced to base medical decisions on cost alone. If
a prostate cancer patient wishes to remain on his current
therapy and it is not deemed the "least costly alternative,"
he must pay the difference out of his own pocket. On top of
everything prostate cancer patients face in battling this
terrible disease, they will now shoulder the added burden
of a policy which strips them of the ability to control their
own health care.
While I am most concerned that this policy is unfairly targeting
prostate cancer patients, what treatments or diseases will
be next? Will all Medicare be based on what is cheapest? Will
mandated surgical castration be next simply because it is
the "least costly" treatment for advanced prostate cancer?
I am afraid that this would be yet another step toward a two-tiered
medical system, where only those with the greatest financial
resources will be able to choose their health care treatments.
Please protect the rights of Medicare patients and preserve
prostate cancer patients' ability to choose their best course
of treatment! Thank you for considering my input and I hope
you will put what is best for prostate cancer patients before
what is cheapest.
_____________ your signature _________________________