Monday, August 27, 2012

The facts on Romney/Ryan attempts to re-start the "death panel" scare

Romney and Ryan are attempting to re-start all the hysteria about "death panels" by suggesting that Obama implemented one for Medicare. They include it in almost every speech/interview. But as an example, in his speech to The Villages in Florida last week, Ryan said that Obamacare will put "15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of Medicare, who are required to cut Medicare ... that will lead to denied care for current seniors."

They are referring to the Independent Payment Advisory Board slated to start next year.

For some background, Obamacare includes several attempts to slow the growth of Medicare spending. Targets have been set, and if they aren't met, the IPAB is tasked with finding other ways to control costs.

In terms of them being unaccountable, here are the facts:

• They’re appointed by the president and approved by the Senate.

• They can’t serve more than two six-year terms.

• Their recommendations can be rejected by Congress.

In terms of the IPAB leading to "denied care for current seniors," by law the board can’t ration care. It can’t change benefits. It can’t change eligibility. It can’t increase what seniors pay. As Michael Tomasky points out:
The IPAB will have a hell of a hard job: It will have to identify savings that do not harm care. The new law says expressly—on page 409, if you want to check it—that the IPAB’s proposals “shall not include any recommendation to ration health care.”
We've seen already from their lies about Obamacare finding $716 billion in Medicare savings that Romney/Ryan have a difficult time understanding the concept of reducing costs to save money. They seem to think the only way to save Medicare is to shift costs away from the program and onto the back of seniors (ie, vouchers).

But given the fact that our health care in this country costs almost twice per capita that of any country in the world - its clear that there are savings to be found in how its delivered. Tomasky gives us an example.
New approaches are desperately needed, like the promising Accountable Care Organizations—networks of doctors and hospitals that can, it is hoped, offer better-coordinated care to seniors that will keep them healthier while tamping costs down.
I've seen how this can be a problem with my own parents. They see all kinds of specialists for different ailments. And often the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing. That is not only costly, it can be dangerous and its just not good health care.

So the next time you hear someone worrying that Obamacare institutes a "death panel" for seniors, please combat that lie with some actual facts.


  1. There are death panels out there the pencil pushers in offices of insurance companies that say how long one can stay in a hospital even though ones dr might think you need to stay longer or who might deny a hospital visit when one is really sick...that is the death panels

  2. The depths to which these Repugs will stoop to include Sedition and the levels media will reach to not name what they are doing is AMAZING!

    Chris Matthews stepped out of line today and probably made history. I bet he got the courage from Soledad on CNN. So I think its more copycat than anything else. I guess I am still glad he did it.

    Where are the other WHITE Democrats with standing to speak out the way Chris did? No Debbie, not Boxer, not any AA/Hispanic American! Its got to be Brokaw/JoeScar/Brian Williams/Bob Schaeffer could do it. They have standing.

    You see even as President of the United States he cannot defend himself! If I sound like I am seething, I am!