• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • IPAB Spells Gloom And Doom For Medicare

    Tomorrow, the Energy and Commerce Committee will mark up legislation to repeal Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). IPAB is a dangerous mechanism that puts the power to limit seniors’ treatment options and access to care in the hands of unelected bureaucrats, essentially ending Medicare as we know it.

    Despite the enormity of IPAB’s power and its influence on Medicare beneficiaries, its members are not accountable to the American people, unlike Congress. IPAB will consist of 15 unelected bureaucrats who are tasked with finding savings within Medicare to meet a new, fixed target for spending growth in the program. IPAB members will be appointed by the President and approved by the Senate, and the board’s recommendations will be implemented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unless Congress enacts an alternative proposal that amounts to the same level of savings.

    As Heritage health policy expert Bob Moffit explains: “[T]he board is prohibited by law from proposing real structural reforms. The only cuts it is allowed to make would be cutting providers’ reimbursements—including administrative costs and profit margins of Medicare Advantage plans.” The board will thus perpetuate the flawed, top-down model of micromanagement in Medicare that is both damaging to quality of care and ineffective at controlling costs.

    This approach to restricting spending growth in Medicare will have serious repercussions for seniors. Arbitrary provider reimbursement cuts increase the gap between Medicare payment and private payment for services. As Moffit explains, this will “[fuel] even more Medicare cost-shifting to individuals and families in the private sector. Additional cuts could also accelerate physician exodus from the Medicare program.” A decline in physician participation would result in reduced access to care for seniors and intensify emergency room overcrowding.

    IPAB will not succeed at preserving Medicare without doing serious damage to the quality of the program. Instead, Medicare spending should be controlled through structural changes that apply free-market principles to empower patients and improve value.

    Reform that installs a premium support model in Medicare would provide beneficiaries with a defined government contribution toward a private health plan of their choice. This route would protect consumers and offer them options that best meet their needs, meanwhile reducing the backbreaking burden of Medicare’s unaffordable cost to taxpayers. To read Heritage’s full proposal to save Medicare, click here.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to IPAB Spells Gloom And Doom For Medicare

    1. Kristen says:

      The IPAB is a similar gimmick to the CLASS Act and will go down just as quickly. Read more at the American Action Forum: http://bit.ly/xBDrAr

    2. Andrak says:

      End Medicare/Medical and instead add money to people social security and disability checks to cover medical expenses.The current way they do it is a scam created by the left to eventually kill off those they no longer need. Remember as a dem said earlier this month they belief lifes a disease and theyre long term goal is to cure it through Abortions euthanasia and anything else they can think of. So wake up before its to late and Conservatives end up with blood on theikr hands from helping them

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.