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Ration Roulette: House Debates Death Panel

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Now that Democrats have had five years to read the health care law, most of them agree with the GOP: we need to kill at least part of the bill — before it kills Americans!

The Independent Payment Advisory Panel (or “death panel,” as it’s been dubbed) has been a major sticking point with both parties since ObamaCare passed. Among other things, IPAB would be responsible for keeping Medicare costs down, which sounds innocent enough. But the big controversy isn’t whether IPAB should save money — but how it does.

As the former chief of Medicare said, it’s much cheaper for the government to let sick people die than care for them. So, the President’s team invented this Board, which would be hand-picked by the White House to determine who is worthy of care and who isn’t.

Not only would IPAB be free of congressional oversight, but it would also operate without much input from health care providers. Instead of discussing the options with your doctor, IPAB will be sitting at the controls in Washington making health decisions for your family.

Essentially, the Board’s 15 members would be completely unaccountable — to Congress or anyone else. They’d have the power to limit which doctors you see, what treatments are available, and in some cases, whether you’re eligible for care at all.

“The ‘independent’ part of IPAB’s name is no joke…” Forbes points out. “If Medicare spending exceeds limits set by law, then IPAB can impose its own set of cost controls… Once IPAB settles on its cuts, lawmakers must either offer an alternative plan that cuts the same level of spending or muster a super-majority to block the Board’s cuts from taking effect.”

Republicans have called it a “rationing board” — and even liberals agree. Hundreds of groups like the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (which supported the overall health care law) have been pushing to repeal IPAB. And believe me, Congress is trying.

Tomorrow in the House, members will be voting on a measure to bury the panel. In committee alone, the repeal had 20 Democratic cosponsors. In fact, you have to go a long way to find someone in favor of the idea. Since its inception, not one person has said they would accept an invitation to join the Board.

They understand what most Americans do: What should control health care isn’t IPAB. It isn’t even Congress. What should control health care is the relationship between doctors and patients. Injecting more government into the equation only punishes patients and squeezes out the cutting-edge science that could treat them.

In many respects, IPAB is just a microcosm of the President’s political philosophy: bypassing Congress to implement Big Government lawlessness.

It’s another symptom of an ObamaCare system that’s plaguing America — physically, politically, and economically. Insurers are already pushing for massive rate hikes under the ObamaCare exchange, meaning that premiums (which have already climbed significantly) will skyrocket. In places like New Mexico, Tennessee, Maryland, and Oregon, the “rate boosts” would be anywhere from 25-51%! Under the rules of the state exchanges, companies have to appeal to regulators for a rate increase (and,according to the Wall Street Journal, only Maine’s market leader has not).

As most of us predicted, the medical costs for sick enrollees (which are the bulk of people using the coverage) are too high, and there’s no way for insurance plans to absorb them.

In the end, it all points to the bigger picture on ObamaCare — which is that rationing boards or not, the only thing we should be killing is this law!



 

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