Commentary: Will Obamacare ‘Death Panels’ Make It to the New Year?

The Obamacare “death panels,” the same ones that liberals vehemently denied were a part of the plan, are on life support themselves, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) being the only thing keeping them alive. Conservatives in Congress not only have a chance to end President Donald Trump’s first year with a big win politically, but can also gain policy traction by repealing one of the worst aspects of Obamacare.

The Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, was included in the Obamacare legislation, and consists of a group of 15 unelected bureaucrats who control health care spending and ration health care for those on Medicare (i.e. senior citizens.) You might recognize IPAB as it is more commonly referred to as “the death panels.”

President Trump has already signed on to repeal IPAB, as it was part of President Trump’s budget request. The House of Representatives passed their version of IPAB repeal on November 2nd. The bill, introduced by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN-01), a medical doctor, passed with a bipartisan margin of 307 to 111. All of Tennessee’s Republican members of Congress were co-sponsors of the bill.

On the passage of IPAB repeal, Congressman Roe stated “I am thrilled the House passed my bipartisan legislation, and I thank my colleagues for supporting the repeal,” adding:

The IPAB has been given sweeping powers to change Medicare with little recourse to change direction. Today, a strong bipartisan majority agreed that health care decisions should be left to doctors and patients, not unelected, unaccountable…The IPAB doesn’t take this into consideration, and could possibly harm seniors’ access to care by utilizing a one-size-fits-all approach to cut Medicare spending. I urge my Senate colleagues to take up and support this important bill.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07), a longtime proponent of repealing IPAB, has stated that “Repealing IPAB is another step towards getting the harmful provisions of Obamacare off the books. Health care decisions should be made by patients and their physicians – not bureaucrats.”

All that is left to get rid of IPAB is for the U.S. Senate to bring it up and vote on S. 260, their own version of IPAB repeal. Last week, Tennessee’s U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Committee on Health Lamar Alexander signed on last week to support S.260. Senator Alexander joined colleagues such as Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) to support the repeal of IPAB. The President supports IPAB repeal, the House passed it, and a coalition of Republican Senators support it, so what’s the hold up?

The U.S. Senate whiffed on its chance to repeal and replace Obamacare this year. It can’t afford to fail again ahead of the crucial 2018 midterms – not if Republicans want to maintain or grow their majority.

The United States Senate has less than two more weeks of work remaining before it recesses for the Christmas holiday. Conservatives from across Tennessee and the country should stand with President Trump and urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring IPAB repeal up before the end of the year.

The repeal of IPAB, one of the “worst aspects” of Obamacare, would be a welcome Christmas present for President Trump and the American people.

So what’s the holdup?

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One Thought to “Commentary: Will Obamacare ‘Death Panels’ Make It to the New Year?”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Just a brief thought after ignoring this article for few days.

    In additional to the Obamacare committee as outlined in this article, the policy makers for Medicare (what a misnomer) have been essentially wielding this power for a long time with no hope for change in sight.