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Democrats’ Medicare Rationing Board Under Attack: By Democrats

June 23, 2011

Former Democrat Leader Dick Gephardt is out this week with a scathing editorial on the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which was created in the Democrats’ health care law.  Below are just a few excerpts from Leader Gephardt’s column.
Devastating for Seniors:
“IPAB will be an unelected and unaccountable group whose sole charge is to reduce Medicare spending based on an arbitrary target growth rate. It will propose cuts to Medicare that Congress can override only with supermajority votes, an unnecessarily high and unrealistic bar. Just as important, these cuts are likely to have devastating consequences for the seniors and disabled Americans.”
Denying Care:  “Certainly Medicare must be viable for current and future generations of seniors, but it would be wrong to achieve this goal by denying Medicare beneficiaries access to comprehensive and high quality health care.”
Hurts Non-Medicare Patients Too: “The damage from large and arbitrary cuts to Medicare payments will likely extend beyond Medicare itself. Since 1965, Medicare has served as the baseline for health-care spending in the United States. There is the very real risk that private sector insurance payments will follow Medicare payments’ downward trend until the under-65 population also loses access to care. The far-reaching impact of any of these consequences on Americans of all ages is so alarming that thorough, open Congressional evaluation and debate are essential.”