Friday, May 13, 2011

Mission Impossible: Medicare's Independent Payment Advisory Board

The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is a new bureaucracy established by Obamacare that will limit Medicare beneficiaries’ access to certain medical goods and services—especially new prescription drugs.

Key Points:
• IPAB puts Medicare beneficiaries’ access to prescription drugs and certain other medical goods and services under control of a board of 15 presidential appointees, while leaving decisions about other medical goods and services under control of Congress.

• IPAB will be called upon to cut much more Medicare spending than officially estimated, because physicians and hospitals are highly likely to succeed in restoring the cuts that Obamacare imposes upon them.

• IPAB could deny Medicare beneficiaries access to every innovative prescription drug introduced every year, but still have little effect on Medicare spending.
• As long as Congress exerts political control over Medicare beneficiaries’ access to medical care, all treatments and providers should be treated equally, which implies that IPAB should be abolished.
Read this month's Health Policy Prescription here.

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