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More about the IPAB

July 10, 2012
Messenger News

To the editor:

Whether she knows it or not, Jean Toillion's "lauding" of Steve King's opposition to the provision of the Affordable Care Act that establishes an Independent Payment Advisory Board is fairly disingenuous. Obama's health care act has devised several innovative measures to reduce the cost of health care; the purpose of this panel is to examine what has worked and what hasn't, and make recommendations in the case that costs rise faster than the targets.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Obama's law explicitly forbids the board to take actions to "(1) ration health care; (2) raise revenues or increase Medicare beneficiary premiums or cost sharing; or (3) otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria."

Furthermore, while King opposes the IPAB on these spurious terms, he has been an enthusiastic cheerleader of the Paul Ryan budget, which institutes a couple of cost-saving measures for health care but puts off seriously reining in costs until 2023. Then, just when baby boomers are reaching their 70s, the axe falls, and much tighter restrictions than the ACA imposes go into effect.

How will the seniors of 2023 be affected? The Budget Committee's GOP staff director, Austin Smythe, said that the premium subsidies could well be discontinued if costs rose faster than GDP plus 0.5 percent. Medicare itself would become less affordable. This would certainly ration health care for the "have-nots" of our country.

Greta Anderson




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