Accusations fly over obscure Medicare board
Sunday, July 17, 2011
WASHINGTON (AP) -- An independent panel created under President Barack Obama's health care law to control excessive increases in Medicare costs is drawing heavy fire from Republicans.
It's called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and nearly every health industry group is lobbying for its repeal. So are some consumer advocates. GOP lawmakers call it a rationing panel, and at least one has suggested seniors will die from its decisions.
But don't look for IPAB to start chopping any time soon. It doesn't exist yet, and may not even be appointed for another couple of years, until the brouhaha dies down. What's more, the law explicitly forbids IPAB from rationing care, shifting costs to retirees or restricting benefits.
Yet the uproar is only getting louder.