This mom with a rare form of cancer can't get treatment because of the government shutdown


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The House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 73 on October 2nd to authorize continuing appropriations for the National Institutes of Health. It was received by the Senate on October 3rd and is currently awaiting Senate action.

She’s wrong. The right was planning this shutdown for months before it happened, and just wait til you see what they have planned for this winter.

Just wait for the other shoe to drop: her Republican congressman is going to pass the hat and get her the best treatment and a heartwarming photo opportunity, while simultaneously fighting to prevent tens of millions of Americans from getting basic health care. And the press will look the other way.

EDIT: Woops, I see I’m a week out of date - thanks Lamb.


I thought I had read that the NIH was taking applications for new trials again after Congressman Keating’s intervention. I guess they are, but that the trials themselves won’t start until after the shutdown:

(From the Boston Globe last week)
"Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services gave NIH the green light to allow certain staff to return to work and begin processing new applications on the registration website,, NIH spokesman John Burklow said.

But patients hoping to join trials at the NIH hospital will still have to wait until the shutdown ends. The Republican-led House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday to restore funding for the NIH, but the measure died in the Senate as the White House insisted on restoring funding to all government agencies."

You omitted the petition link by mistake –

Could someone explain how it is that some bits of the federal government are able to function, but others are not?

While most of NASA is shut down, bits of mission control that are essential to keep things running on the ISS are kept running. The same is true of bits of the EPA, CDC, FBI, NSA etc.

Are certain parts of the budget somehow protected? Is there an emergency budget that covers certain pre-determined bits of the federal government while the rest is shut down? Who gets to decide what gets shut down and what doesn’t?


Much of that is covered in this OMB document . It’s apparently determined by the Antideficiency Act.


Yes, the House Republicans would like the ability to pick and choose what departments get funded and what departments don’t.
That’s what the whole shutdown is about.


The short version: she can’t get the life-saving treatment she needs;
a clinical trial that provides an option in a case where other more
well-established treatment protocols have failed.

To be quite clear, a clinical trial doesn’t necessarily have particularly good odds of success, does it?

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Aaah the joys of “socialist” healthcare…

Mmm; more like the “whole shutdown is about” nothing more than sour grapes (and a dose of thwarted teenaged John Galt/Dagny Taggert fantasies).


But - the Antideficiency Act only requires that funds be allocated and appropriated prior to expenditure. That’s required to be spread out into monthly allocations. So, funds already allocated and appropriated aren’t affected by a shutdown. If NIH is not continuing its medical trials programs, it’s because they dropped the ball in their internal budgeting somewhere. Otherwise, they could not be stopped, shutdown or not. (Pre-paid contracts cannot be stopped, either. Only pay-as-they-go contracts get held up.)

Noticed, the history of this thing came about because government agencies, and the military in particular, used to purposely overspend, then go to the Executive branch for more money. Congress created the ADA to keep them from gaming the system, and the Executive from taking unauthorized control of our money. Sounds like a good idea, right? And generally, I’d have to agree. NOT ok for the Prez to just blow and go on our dime. Except that, now the system is getting gamed in a whole new way.

But, it still looks like NIH blew it internally. Otherwise, these patients wouldn’t be stopped out.

True, but given that the probability of success of “do nothing” is approximately 0, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to view this as a situation where she’s being denied life-saving treatment, even if it’s only “potentially” live saving.


According to Michele Bachmann, Obama is bringing about the Biblical End Times, so we don’t need to worry about Obamacare–or any medical care–anymore.

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Exactly. This is a sad instance and my heart goes out to her. BUT - there’s 3 TRILLION dollars being spent by our Govt (and that’s a conservative estimate). The looming issues fueling the shutdown are the debt and the amount of borrowing we’re continually racking up.

Our defense spending and the budget for the NSA are ramped up past any rational levels, and yet both parties act like there’s not a single dime that we can cut. While I hope that concessions can be made for cases like hers, we can’t just cherry-pick a few instances of good things the Govt accomplishes and ignore the 800 lb gorilla in the room while we choose to continue to fiscal ruin.


It looks like the Republican’s healthcare plan is based on providing coverage for whoever can get them in front of the media or if you know them personally.

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But we have to protect Americans from evil terrorists so they can die of neglect safely.

FFS, Just do it anyway. Later when the money for the tests comes back, bill away.

Exactly right, except you left out the other parts of the plan, which include no care at all for the poor and bankruptcy for the middle class. Fortunately, the people who matter have nothing to worry about.


The looming issues fueling the shutdown seem to be the House Republicans wanting to damage Obamacare any way they can. Interestingly, most neutral analysts agree that Obamacare should ultimately lower healthcare costs and reduce gov’t spending in that arena.

While cutting DOD spending certainly makes sense fiscally, the people causing this shutdown also want to increase defense spending.

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