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Sally C. Pipes has a wonderful piece that points out that even ObamaCare's most strident supporters oppose ObamaCare's rationing board known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Pipes writes that IPAB "will be charged with making recommendations for reducing Medicare spending if costs exceed a specified cap. Those recommendations will automatically become law unless Congress blocks them and offers equivalent spending cuts in their place."
Even liberal Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has, according to pipes, “called IPAB a ‘dangerous provision’ that ‘sets [Medicare] up for unsustainable cuts’ and endangers patients’ health. And the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare — a prominent supporter of Obamacare — is now agitating for the Board’s repeal.”
Pipes also makes comparisons between IPAB to the British health system's equivalent.
Stanley Kurtz writes on National Review Online:
"The 2012 election, and the existence of a free health-care market in this country, could well depend on a little-known agency called IPAB. [Short for Independent Payment Advisory Board, it is], a vastly powerful but too often overlooked component of the president’s health-care-reform law. IPAB has not yet come into existence, but when Obamacare goes into full effect, it will be an unelected and unaccountable bureaucratic entity with nearly limitless power over federal Medicare spending. IPAB will have the power to effectively ration health care through price controls — which may not even be the scariest thing about it. That distinction arguably falls to its unprecedented overriding of congressional sovereignty, in flagrant violation of the constitutional separation of powers."
In his April 13 speech, in response to Paul Ryan’s deficit-reduction plan, President Obama pushed to give IPAB more power and more authority over Medicare pricing as part of the President's own deficit-reduction plan. Kurtz characterized the President's speech as calling for "a substantial expansion of IPAB’s already unprecedented powers," and noted that "Obama can’t begin to match Ryan’s deficit-reduction program without massive, IPAB-imposed health-care controls that would amount to rationing."
In contrast, Paul Ryan and the House Republicans have offered an alternative about which Kurtz has said: "The advantage of the Ryan plan... is its reliance on patient choice. Having been taxed throughout their working lives to support a system that offers no choice, Medicare-dependent patients lose control of funds they might otherwise have used to purchase private health insurance. Ryan’s plan returns some of that money to Americans via a tax-supported health-care voucher. This allows consumers to choose the private insurance plan that most closely matches their priorities — devoting more or less resources to end-of-life care, for example."
Read the full article here...
From Sally Pipes...
"Democrats have recently seized on a novel way of reducing health care costs — threats.
"The Obama Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that any insurance company that wants to increase premiums more than 10% will have to get approval from the government. Congress didn’t pass a law mandating this draconian policy — HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius simply decreed it."
While Vermont and Massachusetts are also headed towards a single payer system based on price controls, Canada, a country that has tried single payer, is moving away from that system.
According to Pipes, Dr. Claude Castonguay, the "father of Quebec Medicare," said in 2008 that “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice.”
Read the full article here...
Dr. Hal Scherz, founder and president of Docs4PatientCare, and Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, penned an op-ed that appeared in Wednesday's Washington Examiner. The piece focused on the increasing role of government in the doctor-patient relationship, and the negative impact that intrusion is having on care, as well as the quality of training new physicians receive.
"Physicians increasingly worry that a combination of government regulations and plummeting reimbursements for their services will force them out of business. Hospitals have seized upon this widespread fear and are buying up physician practices, placing the practice of medicine nationwide under their institutional control.
As a result, private practice as we know it could be extinct within a decade..."
Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, recently brought light to Obamacare's plan to implement "Accountable Care Organizations" (ACOs):
"ACOs amount to little more than the old HMOs of the 1990s--which Americans detested--and will yield lower-quality, centralized care that ends up costing patients more.
At present, ACOs are more of a concept than a reality. Kaiser Health News compares them to a unicorn: 'Everyone seems to know what it looks like, but nobody's actually seen one.'"
Read her full column here.