By Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill -
As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA-Obamacare), two boards are now in place to administer health benefits under the new plan. One is called the "Independent Payment Advisory Board" (IPAB). The other is the "United States Preventive Services Task Force" (also known as the Mandate Task Force). Together, their missions will result in rationing of care, longer waits for care and possible elimination of care.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)
On March 22, 2012, the House of Representatives voted to repeal this portion of Obamacare, but the Senate would not take up the issue, keeping IPAB a valid part of Obamacare recently affirmed by the Supreme Court.
An important aspect to keep in mind about IPAB is what the name itself implies. The name of this Board is Independent PAYMENT Advisory Board; it is not the Independent MEDICAL Advisory Board. The importance of using payment over medical in the name of the panel board will become apparent later in our commentary.
The IPAB will be made up of 15 unelected people, appointed by the President (whoever it is) and will become official in 2014. These people may be appointed using ‘recess appointments’ without Congressional approval if Congress is not in session. We don’t know at this time what their qualifications will be. Their job will be to reduce per capita spending with recommended levels at which Medicare recipients, including seniors, can be reimbursed for health care expenses. IPAB could cap the total amount of money Medicare recipients could receive for their care.
July 13, 2011, during House subcommittee on Health and Energy hearings, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) stated: “If Medicare costs are rising at an unsustainable rate, it’s Congress' choice whether to accept those recommendations, or come up with recommendations of its own to put Medicare spending on a stable, sustainable path.”
Can you imagine Congess ever acting in such a way on an issue that affects senior citizens who represent a large voting bloc?
Sebelius continues, “IPAB serves as a ‘backstop to ensure Medicare remains solvent for years to come.”
A caution to seniors who are under Medicare, this is ALL ABOUT MONEY not about your health care
Peter Orzag, then director of OMB (Office of Management and Budget), in an interview for Breibart TV, on April 27, 2010, indicated the IPAB proposals would take effect automatically UNLESS Congress not only votes them down, but does so with 67 supermajority votes, and the President signs the bill. If not, the IPAB ruling takes effect.
IPAB would also have the power to OVERRIDE THE CONGRESS if it rejects IPAB’s recommendations.
Once IPAB is in full swing, it will have the power to control and make decisions about your medical care without ever meeting you, seeing you or talking with your doctor about your condition, health care and life style. They can cap the maximum amount of money to be spent on your care, which will result in possible denial of surgery, medications or medical testing. They will have the power of life – and death – over you.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF/sometimes called the Mandate Task Force)
Quoted from the HHS website for USPSTF: “Created in 1984, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) is an independent group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, or preventive medications. The USPSTF is made up of 16 volunteer members who come from the fields of preventive medicine and primary care, including internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, obstetrics/gynecology, and nursing. All members volunteer their time to serve on the USPSTF, and most are practicing clinicians.”
So, we have another committee now under Obamacare, made up of 16 non-government experts in medical prevention and evidence-based medicine. Like the IPAB, they will review what and when and how often you will be entitled to medical screenings and make recommendations on what can, or can’t, be offered for health coverage.
The task force will rate medical services on the basis of letter grades: “A to D”, but some services will be more valuable than others and must be covered by health insurance plans.
An A or B grade must be covered, in full, without a co-pay, and they will be more costly. Such services as colon cancer screening and contraceptives are examples of required coverage testing.
A rating of C or D, however, could result in tests or procedures being completely eliminated for payment, especially if Obamacare coverage demands that money be saved to pay for the mandated procedures with A and B grades.
Examples of C and D level tests that could be eliminated include ovarian cancer in woman and testicular cancer in men, and which often result in death if not found in their early stages.
Areas of healthcare up for future consideration by the Preventive Service Task Force plans will target obesity, depression and osteoporosis.
Over the last few years media reports have suggested that women no longer need to get mammograms or pap smears before a certain age.
Nor, do men have to get PSA tests for prostate cancer. Chest x-rays are also now on the list of unnecessary services on a routine basis.
For 20-30 years, the American people have been bombarded with the drumbeat of ‘get tested, get tested, be sure you get tested’. Most of us have faithfully followed our indoctrination and have gotten tested.
Now, because it’s going to be too expensive, we are being told it’s no longer medically necessary to get what were considered routine yearly tests done anymore. If it wasn’t medically necessary all these years, then why were we told we had to get them?
Might the reason be that routine yearly testing women and men have taken for granted as necessary are now considered too costly to continue to be received? Once again, it’s ALL ABOUT MONEY, not your health care!
It is evident that rationing has already started, as has the indoctrination. Decisions made by bureaucrats appointed by successive Presidents will come between you and your doctor and your family. They will be making medical decisions that will affect how your health care is distributed, and may even affect how you end your life.
As with other government agencies that are impossible to scuttle once established, once these two agencies are operating in full force, the American people can never be sure again of receiving medical assistance when they want it or the type of care necessary for their medical situation.
Those who claimed that Republicans wanted to ‘throw Grannie off a cliff’ now have their mechanism in place. You no longer will have to make the decision to cut off her medicine and oxygen. The Government will do it for you.
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