American Elephants


Democrats Are Lying to You! So What Else is New? by The Elephant's Child

Why are Democrats so desperately trying to keep the public from understanding that Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid must be reformed? Because the Democrats can claim that they are trying to take care of old people and the Republicans are trying to take away their health-care.  Scaring old people has always worked for them, and they’re not going to let go of the strategy until it decisively fails them.  It is, unfortunately, just that simple.

Democrats, you see, have already reformed Medicare and Medicaid. It’s part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Costs too much?  Simple answer— just pay physicians and hospitals less— way less.  Obama’s advisers on health-care matters: Ezekiel Emanuel, Peter Orzag, Tom Daschle and  Dr. Donald Berwick were all admirers of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).  The Brits liked their free NHS, which began in 1948,   and continued to support Labour, in spite of increasingly long waits, rationing, dirty hospitals, denied care.

Medicaid patients are already in deep trouble and in many locations unable to find any primary care physician who will see them. Government reimbursement is too low and doctors can’t afford it. Medicare is soon to have the same problem, as ObamaCare continually slashes payments to doctors, hospitals and other providers. But more cuts are planned.

Looming over all is a key feature of ObamaCare— The Independent Pay Advisory Board (IPAB). Under the law, the president would appoint 15 ‘experts’ to the board. Starting in 2014, the board would be charged with making sure that Medicare hits specific spending goals. IPAB cannot touch benefits, deductibles or co-payments;            they have to make the budget fit the targets by controlling fees.  Cost controls. De-facto rationing power.

Once the board has made up its mind, the cuts automatically take effect, unless Congress agrees on an alternative package or can get a supermajority to block IPAB’s plan.  IPAB decisions would be immune from administrative or judicial review. The theory is that  if IPAB is isolated from politics, they can ‘more effectively’ manage Medicare costs.

Unaccountable, immune, cannot be questioned, their word is law—you have no recourse. That may sound fine until it is your kidney dialysis being denied, or your cancer treatment.  What all Obama’s advisers liked about NHS is that the greatest costs for seniors’ medical care come in their final years. Rationing and denying on the basis of ‘cost-effectiveness’ is just efficient bookkeeping, you see, until it’s your body or that of your loved ones who are denied—and you can’t even sue or protest.

Paul Ryan does a wonderful job of explaining his plan, and why it is necessary.




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