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.