Friday, April 02, 2010

Could the Independent Medicare Advisory Board pave the way to an exclusive single payer?

I have written before that perhaps the worst part of the Obama health care redo is the incredible delegation of wide- almost unlimited- powers to a political appointee ( the secretary of HHS).

Scrutiny of the behemoth legislation by Dr. Fogoros (AKA DrRick of the Covert Rationing Blog) Rationing) has brought to light that fact that in 2015 the Independent Medicare Advisory Board morphs into an entity named the Independent Payment Advisory Board. See here for details as provided by Dr.Rick.

This is much more than a change in initials from IMAB to IPAB. It give the HHAS secretary authority to somehow issue administrative rules that will somehow limit private medical expenditure.

From DrRick:

Section 10320 changes the name of the Immutables from the Independent Medicare Advisory Board to the Independent Payment Advisory Board. It directs the Immutables (and now readers will understand why DrRich has resorted to this more descriptive name), at least every two years, to “submit to Congress and the President recommendations to slow the growth in national health expenditures” for private (non-Federal) healthcare programs. Furthermore, it allows that these “recommendations” may be implemented by the Secretary of HHS or other Federal agencies administratively.

Does this administrative power pave the way to limit what an individual might pay on his own for health care?

It need not but it could. The HHS czar could decree according to Section 10320 that no insurance plan could include coverage for something or other ( perhaps screening colonoscopy for folks over 65) and leave it at that. OR HHS could decree that no practitioner would receives Medicare/Medicare funds or payments for an insurance policy obtained from an exchange could enter into any financial relationship with a patient outside of that which is expressly provided by the plan. In other words more like Great Britain or more like Canada. I wonder how many House members who were herded into voting for the bill realized that much of the future of health care for millions of folks would be determined by a political appointee?

If you agree with many folks that the passage of the health care bill was an abuse of power (see Here),wait until we see what 2015 and the Department of HHS have to offer.

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