Obama Claims Power to Decide if Your Medicine is Too Expensive to be Allowed

It’s very easy for Obamacare supporters to scoff at the whole idea that there are “death panels” ensconced in Obama’s health care power grab. But the fact of the matter is that they exist in a defacto form. One of those defacto death panels is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an agency invented under Obamacare that has no congressional oversight and will be able to summarily cancel your drug prescriptions as paid for by Medicare.

The IPAB is not well known by Americans, but it is a 15-member board appointed by the president and while members are confirmed by the Senate, the board is not otherwise answerable to anyone but the president. As to its duties, this board was given the responsibility to put a spending cap on Medicare. One way that the IPAB intends to do that is to decide what drugs are cost effective enough for government to pay for.

In other words, the IPAB will decide whether or not Medicare patients will be allowed to have a drug and its decision to eliminate the drug will be based solely on cost, not effectiveness or medical necessity. These decisions will also not be made with your doctor. It will be a top down, bureaucratic decision, not a decision based on medical science.

If the government decides that your lifesaving drug is too expensive, then you simply won’t be allowed to have it. How is that not a “death panel”? Can anyone see a meaningful difference between a “death panel” and the IPAB’s powers?

As Bryan Preston quips, “You think your HMO is run by cheapskates? Wait until they’re replaced by government bureaucrats.”

It is even worse than Preston’s quip, though. At least if you are in a private medical plan you have the option to cancel it and go to another insurance carrier or healthcare provider. When the government makes the decision you won’t have an option. After all, once government decides it will not pay for a particular drug, this decision will often cascade across the healthcare industry until no one will be able to get it at all.

As I said, most Americans don’t even know that this IPAB exists, but with those industry professionals that are more aware of what Obamacare portends, negative opinions abound.

The Heritage Foundation recently reported that a preponderance of doctors view Obama’s healthcare “reform” in a negative light.

The Physicians Foundation found that “rather than a sign of progress, the survey suggests that most physicians view health reform as a further erosion of the unfavorable conditions with which they must contend.” Furthermore, Obamacare “has further disengaged doctors from their profession, with potentially negative consequences for both the medical profession and for the quality and accessibility of medical care in the United States.”

Sixty-seven percent of respondents initially held a “very negative” or “somewhat negative” impression of Obamacare. When asked how their feelings had changed months after passage of the law, 51 percent said they felt the same, while 39 percent felt more negative. Furthermore, 86 percent of respondents said physicians’ perspectives were not adequately taken into account during the reform process.

Now that Obamacare is passed as we move forward and, as former Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it, we “find out what’s in it,” we are seeing more folks every day that are unhappy with this monstrosity of socialistic government policy. The challenge to the Republicans is repeal, replace and otherwise defund its provisions.

But regardless, there are “death panels.”

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