Huffington Post: A Medicare Issue We Can All Agree On
Highly-respected advocate for the elderly Bob Blancato authored an op-ed in Huffington Post observing that the Independent Payment Advisory Board could lead to fewer physicians seeing Medicare patients, thus affecting older Americans’ access to care.
Don’t Forget About the Independent Payment Advisory Board
The Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, is one of the more notorious provisions of the Affordable Care Act because it is the perfect embodiment of belief in technocratic expertise. The IPAB’s 15 “expert” members would have great power and little accountability.
Since the law’s passage in 2010, opponents have successfully publicized the danger the IPAB poses to sensible Medicare policy and constitutional self-government, to the point that many in Congress now assume it will never go into effect. In June 2015, the House passed legislation to repeal the IPAB in its entirety.
The Affordable Care Act's Rate-Setting Won't Work
Continuing efforts by congressional Republicans to "defund" further implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, even if it takes shutting down the federal government, are willfully destructive. As Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.) told the press last week, "I think it's the dumbest idea I've ever heard . . . as long as Barack Obama is president the Affordable Care Act is gonna be law."
Clearly, the foremost achievement of President Obama's first term is the Affordable Care Act, and when fully implemented the law will move America closer to universal health coverage—something many progressives have sought for years. Like it or not, the law—at least its foundation—is here to stay, and lawmakers ought to focus over the next year on ensuring a relatively smooth implementation.