IPAB Repeal Arguments Weak, For Now

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , March 8, 2013

Reading the opposing views of IPAB, the charge that it puts an "unelected" team of "bureaucrats" in charge of healthcare payment policy makes it seem un-American.

Yet that claim puts me in the same frame of mind as those (generally politicians again) who decried the stupidity of the sequester yet never found a way to do it better. In that case as in this one, remember that Congress created both IPAB and the sequester. That's why it ultimately went into effect.

No one who depends on getting elected for his or her (generous) paycheck ever wants to make a decision that cuts government funding to those who elect them. Yes, taking a meat cleaver to the federal budget isn't the most effective way to reduce spending, but given the nature of the game, it appears to be the only thing that works.

Maybe the fact that IPAB members don't have to worry about getting re-elected (the 15-member board is appointed by the President to varying terms) is the precise reason so many in the healthcare industry are so afraid of IPAB—it might just work. Maybe IPAB is part of the solution. Something has to be. At least we should let it try. As these bills have shown, it can always be repealed.

Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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2 comments on "IPAB Repeal Arguments Weak, For Now"

bob sigmond (3/9/2013 at 9:59 AM)
Good show, Phil. Frankly, I am surprised at the position of the American Hospital Association. In the past, the AHA frequently reflected the broad public interest vision of so many of its members rather than those with a more narrow perspective. I know that Rich Umdenstock knows better. Right on! Bob

Dr angel (3/8/2013 at 3:05 PM)
Philip, I like your ability to reason. You make a good point because you have a good logic path. However, good logic alone doesnt win a debate. What most of us like is a say...what Im afraid of is that politicians wiil appoint people who are radical, paid off , etc that will protect their interests/agendas. One board with so much power is scary, especially when president has such influence/veto power. Sustem with checks/balances is needed. You call it gridlock, I call it healthy debate. You call it nothing done/passed, I call it not lnee jerking a reaction. No doctors/specialists are having mich say in reform. Its special interest thinktank study groups paid by insurance companies and a president who have aligned to give us socialized medicine. The fact is Rationing has to occur, because we have more patients/conditions than we have resources. Everyone in charge wants to blame waste/fraud/doing it wrong as athe problem. The problem is that rationing has to occur. IPAB may be wgat rations care. Id rather it be with more input by docs, nurses, patients, clergy, scientists. Appointed politician puppets is not a great answer. Rationing care....get used to it, calling it better care at lower cost is a dishonest representation. Ask a doctor from Poland, or England...I have!




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