Friday, June 17, 2011

I-P-A-B spells "Death Panel"

Sarah Palin's reportedly ignorant belief that Obamacare cuts cost by way of a "death panel" of bureaucrats passing down coverage decrees is nearly as notorious as Palin herself. Mind you, Palin was being ridiculed for this long before The Krugman, a bearded novelty act who does a traveling show for The New York Times, sung the praises of government-rationed care in an ABC appearance:

Here's the infamous paragraph from Palin's 08/07/2009 Facebook post:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Palin was responding, in part, to a statement by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, another crazed right-wing nut. If you have a memory or possess the power of Google, it's not hard to recall the dinosaur media's response. Smarmy leftists at The New York Times and MSNBC ranted and raved about lies and incited mobs, while slightly-better-hinged commentators settled for dismissing Palin's thoughts as partisan nonsense.

Conservative pundits continue working to inform the public that Obamacare - sorry, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - relies exclusively on rationed care for the only cost savings that aren't fabrications. As George Will details in a Washington Post op-ed, death panels by any other name are still terrible policy:

The point of PPACA is cost containment. This supposedly depends on the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB, which is a perfect expression of the progressive mind, is to be composed of 15 presidential appointees empowered to reduce Medicare spending – which is 13 percent of federal spending – to certain stipulated targets. IPAB is to do this by making “proposals” or “recommendations” to limit costs by limiting reimbursements to doctors. This, inevitably, will limit available treatments – and access to care when physicians leave the Medicare system.

Will's closing line is brilliant:

The essence of progressivism, and of the administrative state that is progressivism’s project, is this doctrine: Modern society is too complex for popular sovereignty, so government of, by and for supposedly disinterested experts must not perish from the earth.

So, Ohioans - have you signed a petition supporting the Health Care Freedom Amendment yet?

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Cross-posted at that hero and Columbus Tea Party.


  1. the simple fact is that such panels are currently in operation for Medicare and they have already failed.

    Medicare routinely makes what are called "coverage determinations" These are focused on such mundane things as which radiology procedures can be done on the same day and so forth.

    Another attempt by Medicare to "rationalize" care is the infamous "CCI edits". This is a rationing mechanism that relies on the coverage determinations and the HCPCs/CPT4 coding mechanism to limit care that is provided.

    Two things:
    (1) the initial intent was to root out fraud and abuse. That clearly failed, now its just a rationing mechanism.
    (2) Obama disparaged the Medicare advantage program but what it proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt is that the HMO's could deliver excellent care at a vastly lower cost than traditional medicare.

    The mechanism is simple. Medicare offers to pay the hmos an actuarily derived estimate of the average cost per enrollee. If the HMO can deliver the care for less than that, they keep the difference.

    What Obama hated was the fact that the HMO's showed that private enterprise beats the gummint every time.

  2. If only seniors understood the $500b cuts in Medicare, courtesy of Obamacare and the IPAB, with will make further cuts if healthcare spending exceeds a certain level (they will), further cuts to Medicare will be made, they would look favorably at the Ryan plan. Sadly Dumbocrats are good at scaring seniors, blaming Republicans.

  3. Dick Gephardt, the Speaker of the House prior to Nancy Pelosi has called for the repeal of Obamacare's Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).


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