There is a dirty secret about health care that President Obama hopes will escape the headlines. In his newly released plan to “reform” Medicare as part of overall deficit reduction, Obama has punted actual cost-cutting and instead proposed a panel – the Independent Payment Advisory Board – to recommend savings for the financially doomed program. Translation: Welcome to the world of rationing.
The board, which was an original part of Obamacare (remember the death panel debate?), consists of 15 unelected bureaucrats who will have unchecked, binding power in the interest of supposedly greater efficiency and lower costs. That means that instead of you or your doctor making decisions about your care, a group of Washington micromanagers will do it for you.
They will do this by cutting reimbursements to doctors and hospitals and restricting patients from costly end-of-life care by enforcing caps on how much a patient can spend to stay alive. Most at risk will be the disabled, who require special and often expensive care. Cancer patients will be at risk, as well, since chemotherapy and other oncological treatments are some of the priciest.
In fact, there is very little Congress will be able to do to stop the panel. It will only be able to block its rulings with a two-thirds vote to override an expected presidential veto.
Oh, and the rationing panel will be immune to lawsuits. According to The New York Times, “In general, federal courts could not review actions to carry out the board’s recommendations.”
The panel is one of the scariest policy moves made by this administration and is the epitome of government interference in our lives at the most personal of levels. If you’re not eligible for Medicare, you will be one day, which is why everyone should be very afraid of what’s to come when the panel starts its work in 2014 with a report to the President. Though defenders claim that Obamacare bars rationing, the panel will do just that.