BOHEMIA, NY, Sep 14 – “There may not be a ‘death panel’ lurking in the Affordable Care Act but there is an Independent Payment Advisory Board [IPAB] that has some folks – including many physicians – scared it will ultimately find a way to ration care for the elderly,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
“You can hide a lot of mischief in a 2400 page law. Perhaps, that’s why they didn’t want you to know in advance what was in the legislation that the President calls ObamaCare. And, the IPAB is, in fact, one of those hidden threats all set to rear up and bite us come 2015 when the Board is expected to begin functioning.”
The stated purpose of the IPAB is to control costs and that’s a good thing, said Weber. However, he added, when you dig down into the descriptions of the Board’s functions and powers a lot of questions are raised.
“For one thing, it creates the very real possibility that the Board will reduce payments to doctors as a means of controlling costs. In turn, it raises the specter of physicians choosing to not treat Medicare patients at all or, if they do, they might elect to limit the amount of care they will provide.”
In a letter to AARP, Representative Phil Roe, who is a physician, himself, urged its CEO Barry Rand to join in a concerted effort to repeal IPAB “before it can deny seniors access to needed medical care.”
Weber pointed out that AMAC is “an unabashedly conservative alternative to AARP and so Congressman Roe didn’t have to ask us for our support; he already had it and were urging him and his colleagues on. And so he sought to achieve a non-partisan, united front by asking AARP to come on board in an effort to protect the needs of older Americans, but they refused to join the fight.”
In his letter, Roe stated that: “As a physician with more than 30 years of experience, I have grave concerns that the IPAB will function as a denial-of-care board that will slash Medicare payments just to meet an arbitrary budget. While advocates for the IPAB highlight statutory language that prohibits rationing, this term has never been adequately defined. In addition, the ACA [Affordable Care Act] does not prohibit reducing payments to physicians. As Medicare currently pays only 80% of what private insurers do, any additional cuts could severely limit patients’ access to care.”
Weber stated AMAC’s position. “We fight for the things that older Americans and seniors want and need, including the preservation of Medicare. Polls show that the majority of Americans, particularly our membership and that of AARP, don’t like ObamaCare because it threatens to destroy Medicare. Its Independent Payment Advisory Board has would give unelected bureaucrats sweeping powers that need to be checked. It’s unfortunate that AARP won’t join us, but AMAC is one senior advocacy organization that will not allow political relationships and ideologies to interfere with its mission.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: Dan Weber is available for telephone interviews on this issue. Please contact John Grimaldi at 917-846-8485 or [email protected] to set up a chat.
The Association of Mature American Citizens [http://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital and conservative alternative to those traditional organizations, such as AARP, that dominate the choices for mature Americans who want a say in the future of the nation. Where those other organizations may boast of their power to set the agendas for their memberships, AMAC takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests, and offering a conservative insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.