Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Less Health Care - You Can Live Without It

Is it just me, or is Washington sending a message that they want to RATION our health care? The Obama administration seems to favor placing those people who want bigger government and less access to health care in charge of our senior population.

Consider this.

During a Congressional recess Obama appointed Donald Berwick, a socialist that adores nationalized health care such as exists in Great Britain, to head the Center for Medicare Services. The timing of the appointment to a position that had been vacant for over a year is suspicious.

By making the move while Congress was not in session the appointment avoided the normal scrutiny of a Senate committee.

In essence, Mr. Berwick was appointed to a powerful government position without the normal vetting process.Frankenstein's monster

Now the president wants to place Henry Aaron (no, not THAT Henry Aaron) as head of the Social Security Advisory Board.

Let's look at this in more detail.

Berwick, to whom Obama issued a dubious recess appointment to circumvent the usual Senate confirmation, has become notorious for statements like, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open” — and, in progressive-speak, “The social budget is limited.”

Aaron, a recent Obama nominee, has expressed similar views. He wrote a piece earlier this year called, “The Independent Payment Advisory Board — Congress's ‘Good Deed.’” The grisly IPAB, one of the most underreported of Obamacare’s myriad of liberty-sapping features, would have the power to cut Medicare spending each year — if Obamacare isn’t repealed first. The dictates of its 15 unelected members would effectively become law. In fact, Congress couldn’t even overturn the IPAB’s decrees with a majority vote in each house and the President’s signature.


Even Congress cannot overturn their decisions.

How much power does Washington need over our lives?

Aaron praises the IPAB, although he does admit to having a few problems with it. He thinks that its largely unchecked power isn’t unchecked enough, as the board should be able to order payment reductions for other aspects of medical care that have so far escaped its statutory grant of power. He writes,

“I admit that the provisions governing the IPAB are less than optimal. For example, recommendations regarding payments to acute and long-term care hospitals, hospices and inpatient rehabilitation and psychiatric facilities are off-limits until 2020; and those to clinical laboratories are off-limits until 2016. These politically motivated restrictions should be repealed as early as possible so the IPAB’s recommendations can comprehend the delivery system as a whole.”

In other words, Mr. Aaron wants more power sooner rather than later.

“If Americans are serious about curbing medical costs, they’ll have to face up to a much tougher issue than merely cutting waste, says Brookings Institution economist Henry J. Aaron.

“They’ll have to do what the British have done: ration some types of costly medical care — which means turning away patients from proven treatments.

Yes, we all know how well the British health care system works . . .

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