Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Rose by an other name....or a Death Panel by any other name

Well, it won't smell as sweet as a rose, but it will still be a death panel.  We may be older folks but we aren't stupid. Read this from Investor's.com:
Will Congress Kill 'Death Panel 2.0'?
In the year since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, the individual mandate requiring Americans to buy insurance or pay a fine has attracted the most attention.

Another key ObamaCare feature has received little notice, but could end up just as controversial.

It goes by the mundane name of the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

A growing and bipartisan array of critics says it will end up rationing care for seniors and is pushing to scrap IPAB entirely. Some of its fiercest opponents have even resurrected the "death panel" label.

Under the law, the president would appoint 15 experts to the board. Starting in 2014, it would be charged with making sure Medicare hits specific spending targets. Because IPAB can't touch benefits, deductibles or co-payments, those cuts would largely focus on provider fees.

Once the board has made up its mind, its cuts would automatically take effect, unless Congress agrees on an alternative package or can get a supermajority to block IPAB's plan. And IPAB decisions would be immune from administrative or judicial review.

By insulating IPAB from politics, it can more effectively manage Medicare costs, the argument goes. Prominent backers include Obama. But several Democrats have come out against it.

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., has said the IPAB risks "the health of America's seniors and people with disabilities." Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., in April "strongly" urged her colleagues to sign onto a GOP-led IPAB repeal bill.

The head of the pro-ObamaCare AARP told the New York Times recently that "relying on arbitrary spending targets is not a good way to make health policy, especially when decisions may be left to the unelected and unaccountable."

Groups from the Healthcare Leadership Council to the National Retail Federation back repeal.
You can read it all here.

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