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IPAB Repeal Arguments Weak, For Now

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, March 8, 2013

That was the first time that lobbying groups successfully convinced Congress that the payment revision for that year (-4.8%) would mean doctors would drastically reduce their Medicare patient panels as a result.

Poof. Cut. Gone.

Now, thanks to many such delays since then, the scheduled cut to physician Medicare rates on January 1, 2013, had been projected at a ludicrous 26.5%. The most recent "fiscal cliff" budget deal has again put off that cut until January 1, 2014, and it will likely never take effect again, even though it remains law.

Given how well they have handled the general budget, the deficit, and the national debt, removing Congress permanently from the process of making decisions regarding Medicare payment might be just the thing to get some control over the healthcare cost monster. If only it were so easy.

Let's remember for a minute: IPAB doesn't yet exist and both the AMA and AHA supported the passage of the Affordable Care Act. While the groups concede the cost problem, they fight like mad to make sure the costs don't come at their members' expense. They shouldn't be expected to do anything else.

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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!