Is it just a coincidence that the people that President Obama nominates to fill high-level governmental posts tend to favor government-directed health care rationing? Last year, Obama nominated Donald Berwick to head Medicare and Medicaid. Now he’s nominated Henry J. Aaron to head the Social Security Advisory Board.
Berwick, to whom Obama issued a dubious recess appointment to circumvent the usual Senate confirmation, has become notorious for statements like, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open” — and, in progressive-speak, “The social budget is limited.”
Aaron, a recent Obama nominee, has expressed similar views. He wrote a piece earlier this year called, “The Independent Payment Advisory Board — Congress’s ‘Good Deed.’” The grisly IPAB, one of the most underreported of Obamacare’s myriad of liberty-sapping features, would have the power to cut Medicare spending each year — if Obamacare isn’t repealed first. The dictates of its 15 unelected members would effectively become law. In fact, Congress couldn’t even overturn the IPAB’s decrees with a majority vote in each house and the President’s signature.
Obama has since doubled-down on the IPAB, seeking to grant it even more power to cut Medicare spending than Obamacare would grant it. To be clear, this is in addition to the nearly $1 trillion that the Congressional Budget Office says would be siphoned out of Medicare and spent on Obamacare during the overhaul’s real first decade (2014 to 2023).
Aaron praises the IPAB, although he does admit to having a few problems with it. He thinks that its largely unchecked power isn’t unchecked enough, as the board should be able to order payment reductions for other aspects of medical care that have so far escaped its statutory grant of power.