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Another bid to kill a Medicare-cost curb

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Here’s a perfect example of  how, despite Americans’ complaints about their having the world’s highest healthcare costs, special healthcare  economic interests do everything they can to keep those costs high.

Congressional Republicans are pushing to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), whose job is to give Congress recommendations on how to slow the growth of Medicare spending if it tops certain thresholds.

Medscape reports that the Affordable Care Act’s language “makes it hard for Congress not to enact IPAB proposals, and if lawmakers fail to do so, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is required to implement them.”

Some conservatives even call the IPAB a “death panel,” although, as Medscape notes, the law prohibits the board from proposing anything that “would ration healthcare or restrict benefits.”

IPAB backers say the board is a way to offset the power of industry lobbyists in Congress (actually, legislators and lobbyists are often effectively the same creatures) to stop efforts to control Medicare spending.

Organized medicine strenuously opposes the IPAB because they fear that it will tend to reduce physicians’ incomes, which are  by far the highest  in the world.


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