I have resurrected this post from April 2011 as we’re beginning the stretch run for Election 2012 and the presidency. There is talk now of repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) if Mitt Romney wins. If Obama is reelected the group that would decide if medical procedures are appropriate or necessary is known as IPAB (death panels) and companies are telegraphing their intentions to drop medical coverage if there is no repeal. This means you will be dropped into a government pool under the auspices of IPAB. Read last years post below: (Also, please find a current link to the Wall Street Journal who explains what this advisory panel will do or not.)
Remember when Sarah Palin referred to Obamacare as having “Death Panel’s” and the mainstream media and many in the political class went on an all out frontal assault against the former Alaska Governor?
Of course Obamacare has death panels or at lease Barack Obama intends to have death panels. If you’re a senior citizen and you’re ill and maybe that treatment and money could go to someone younger than take the pill, take something for the pain. Too bad!
But now we have IPAB and acronym for “Independent Payment Advisory Board” which Mr. Obama mentioned in his response to Republican Paul Ryan’s (WI) 2012 budget proposal. The Obama death panel debate is not dead, it is only beginning to resurface under a different moniker.
The sole purpose of IPAP is to cut funding for some health care services seniors now take for granted and these are precisely the services that will kill people if not administered to the patient. IPAB was created pursuant to section 3403 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and its ostensible purpose is to “control costs.” Remember, PPACA is known as Obamacare.
A fifteen member panel will decide who receives care based on costs. These so-called “experts” will be imposing price controls on medical care. Before Obamacare only the US Congress could make changes to Medicare reimbursement rates but now IPAB will gain the power on changing the rates and if Congress fails to take action by passing contrary legislation and whoever occupies the Executive Branch signs said legislation into law then IPAB proposals automatically take effect.
Power’s of Congress are transferred to fifteen people, unelected by the citizens, all given the ultimate authority to control who receives health care and who does not.
Take note of comments from Obama’s former Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag last year in a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington:
“This institution could prove to be far more important to the future of our fiscal health than, for example, the Congressional Budget Office. It has an enormous amount of potential power.”
Orszag goes on to describe the automatic implementation features of IPAB’s proposals:
“So the default is now switched in a very important way on the biggest driver of our long-term costs, which is the Medicare program.”
The mission of IPAB is cost cutting to Medicare and Obama has been very direct about rising costs, cutting costs and where those cuts will come from.
Obama said he “”will give the independent commission the authority to make additional savings by further improving Medicare.”
The original idea of Obamacare was to keep provisions and boards like IPAB well under the radar, away from public view assuming the Democrats would keep their power in Congress after the 2012 elections since the new law doesn’t require IPAB to produce it recommendations until 2014.
Columnist Jay Bookman wrote in “Why ‘death panels’ are a necessary evil,”:
“Death panels exist, they will exist in any conceivable system of health-care delivery, and we all know they are necessary but prefer to ignore it.”
“Somebody has to say no to the terminal patient who refuses to acknowledge that he or she is terminal and demands hopeless if expensive treatment.…
Somebody has to have the power to rule that Procedure A or Drug A is more cost-effective than Procedure B or Drug B.… Even Heaven has a gatekeeper.”
Power to mere mortals to decide who lives and who dies all appointed by Barack Obama. This makes some people very uneasy, even some Democrats such as Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-PA), who is among the co-sponsors of a bill that would repeal IPAB. In a statement released last week she said:
“Congress must assume responsibility for legislating sound health care policy for Medicare beneficiaries.… Abdicating this responsibility, whether to insurance companies or an unelected commission, would undermine our ability to represent the needs of the seniors.”
Even those comments don’t go far enough because the “ability to represent the needs of seniors” should be in the hands of individuals under the free-market system not an elected official or an appointed commission.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is attempting reform to get bugs out of the system which introduce competition among insurers, realigns tax incentives and removes some of the regulatory morass that reduces the efficiency of health care providers. This plan is a market-based approach that was successfully used in the Medicare Part-D program, which was beginning to drive down drug costs but meddling by Democrats after they gained power in 2006 began ending this.
Obama and his ilk wish to use “cost cutting” as a means to control health care, further grow government and eliminate free choice. Once they control your health care they control everything in your life.
“Cost control” is code for government-imposed rationing of care to the elderly. Obama’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator and lead health czar has often praised IPAB’s deadly British prototype, the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) and has famously averred that:
“The decision is not whether or not we will ration care; the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”
The problem is that Obamacare’s death panel, as Sarah Palin correctly called IPAB in the Wall Street Journal, will end up closing a lot of aging eyes — permanently.
Obama, health care reform, and death panels, indeed!
See the Wall Street Journal for a current article concerning IPAB – Cheesecake Factory Medicine