Missing Deadline Shows ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board Is Unworkable

CMS Will Have To Give Its Analysis To A Board That Does Not Yet Exist

Infamous “Death Panel” Agency Has Yet to Be Born Because Three Years After ObamaCare Became Law, President Obama Has Yet to Nominate Anyone to Serve on Its Board

Washington, D.C. – The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), often referenced as the ObamaCare “Death Panel,” is about to miss its first deadline.

“It’s the first of many,” says David Hogberg, Ph.D., senior fellow for health care policy at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

IPAB was initially set up to be a 15-member board that will develop proposals for cutting Medicare whenever Medicare’s projected growth rate exceeds the targeted growth rates set up by ObamaCare. On Tuesday, April 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is due to give its analysis to IPAB on whether Medicare will exceed the targeted growth rate.

The problem is that IPAB does not yet exist.

“President Obama hasn’t nominated anyone to be on IPAB even though he’s had over three years to do so,” said Hogberg. “The reason he hasn’t followed through is because doing so is going to create a public relations nightmare,” he adds.

As Hogberg explains in his new article appearing in the April 29 American Spectator, the nominees have to be confirmed by the Senate, where they will almost certainly face tough questioning during their nomination hearings.

“They would face questions about what kind of services they would cut from Medicare, to what extent they are willing to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, and would they be willing to use IPAB to raise taxes,” says Hogberg. “Those are the type of questions that will be very embarrassing for both the nominees and the Obama Administration. The fact is that IPAB is unworkable because no politician with any sense will want to defend it,” he states.

If IPAB has to produce a proposal to reduce Medicare spending, ObamaCare decrees it must submit a draft to the Secretary of Health and Human Services by September 1 of this year. It is supposed to submit the final proposal to Congress and the President on January 15, 2014. If IPAB does not have to cut Medicare spending, then it is supposed to submit an “advisory proposal” on Medicare to Congress, also on January 15, 2014.

“You can bet that IPAB will miss those deadlines too,” says Hogberg.

David Hogberg, Ph.D., is a health care policy analyst for the National Center for Public Policy Research. Previously, Dr. Hogberg was a Washington Correspondent for Investor’s Business Daily, specializing in health care and Medicare. Prior to IBD, he worked as a policy analyst studying health care and other issues for various think-tanks, including the National Center for Public Policy Research, and for the office of Representative Jeff Fortenberry. Dr. Hogberg holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa. He is currently working on a book entitled “Medicare’s Victims: How The U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care System Harms Patients And Impairs Physicians.”

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