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Growing Support for IPAB’s Repeal

2:24 PM, Jun 8, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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Politico reports that there is growing support across the political spectrum for repealing Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Politico writes,

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“One of the key provisions in President Barack Obama’s health care reform law — his preferred method for getting Medicare costs under control — is facing a groundswell of opposition from unexpected corners. 

“Several House Democrats have signed on to support a bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel created by the law that is supposed to help control rising costs in Medicare. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, a prominent supporter of the law, is now actively lobbying for its repeal, too.

“The opposition puts some Democrats and a prominent advocacy group on the same side as House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) standing against Obama. Ryan has called IPAB a rationing board….

‘“The president’s new health care law already ended Medicare as [we] know it,’ Ryan said on the House floor this month....‘It does two things [to Medicare]: It raids Medicare; and it rations Medicare.’”

The Congressional Budget Office projects that, during Obamacare’s first real decade (2014 to 2023), about $1 trillion would be siphoned out of Medicare and spent on Obamacare. Rather than saving Medicare, Obamacare would use it as a piggy bank.

Politico writes, “‘IPAB turns Medicare into a scapegoat,’ said Max Richtman, executive vice president and acting CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. ‘Medicare will be forced to make reductions without addressing the rest of the health care costs.’”

Despite this, President Obama recently doubled down on IPAB in his do-over budget speech, offering IPAB-imposed Medicare cuts as one of the three major prongs of his budgetary “framework” (which he has yet to turn into a second budget). Even with these IPAB-imposed Medicare cuts, Obama’s “framework” would actually increase deficit spending versus current law. Without it, his “framework” essentially amounts to raising taxes (or, as he puts it, reducing “spending in the tax code”) and gutting defense (which is already slated to fall to 13 percent of federal spending by 2021 in his current budget, compared to 49 percent of federal spending under President Kennedy (Table 3.1). 

IPAB is not only an affront to representative government — because this largely unchecked entity would essentially be empowered to make law — but is quite likely unconstitutional (since the Constitution vests the lawmaking power elsewhere). 

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