Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

Are Death Panels Still Alive?

“Five years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, one of the most controversial initiatives created under the healthcare law has no money, no members, and increasingly, at least in the near-term, no purpose,” the Morning Consult reports.

“The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), sometimes referred to as ‘death panels’ by some conservatives who have argued that it bestows powers to unelected officials that belong to Congress and could lead to rationed care for the elderly, has seen its raison d’etre swept away under an avalanche of good news.”

“Until recently, Congress knew only two ways to discuss Medicare, and that was in terms of the entitlement program nearing insolvency and the outsized percentage of the federal budget that it encompassed. IPAB was created to control Medicare spending costs by giving the 15-member panel the power to cut doctor payments under the program – a dramatic and near impossible feat for Congress to achieve on its own – whenever the per-person costs surpass the average of two consumer pricing indexes.”

“But the IPAB became a political lighting rod during the 2010 elections, and Republicans effectively neutered the panel by slashing its budget and signaling to the White House that it would have a tough time confirming any appointees it might send before the Senate Finance Committee.”

Zombie2 Are Death Panels Still Alive?

  • DragonAtma

    There are exactly two death panels. One is led by mitch mcconnell, and one is led by john boehner.

  • embo66

    Those poor Republicans! Every single dire prediction they have made (and still try to make) about the ACA just isn’t turning out to be true . . .
    — Enrollment, even after the bungled rollout, actually surpassed even the sunniest, early projections.
    — As much as 90% of new plan enrollees have paid their premiums.
    — Insurer premiums for 2015 are coming in much lower than predicted.
    — So far, they system is handling the influx of 8 million new patients without much issue.
    — The uninsured rate nationally has dropped nearly 5 percentage points, and of course these declines are much bigger in states which have accepted the Medicaid expansion.
    — An overwhelming majority (83%) say they are at least somewhat pleased with their new healthcare, even Republicans (77%) and even those whose previous plans were cancelled under the new law.

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