[Guest post by DRJ]
Via Breitbart and Naked Emperor News, Peter Orzag reveals the truth about rationing and the Independent Payment Advisory Board:
ORZAG: “And the only real solution to our long-term fiscal imbalance, because it’s driven disproportionately by the rate at which health care costs grow, is to move towards a health care system that is based on quality and efficiency rather than quantity. Everyone agrees that we can no longer afford to just pay for quantity, that is, a fee for service system where doctors and hospitals are reimbursed based on volume.
I think folks have not really focused on the Medicare commission, the Independent Payment Advisory Board that’s created. This institution could prove to be far more important to the future of our fiscal health than, for example, the Congressional Budget Office. It has an enormous amount of potential power.
So this Independent Payment Advisory Board has the power not … it has the responsibility to put forward proposals to hit a pretty aggressive set of targets over the long term. And furthermore the proposals take effect automatically unless Congress not only specifically votes them down, but Congress specifically votes them down and the President signs that bill.
So the default is now switched in a very important way on the biggest driver of our long term costs, which is the Medicare program.”
REPORTER: “Was that explained to members of Congress very carefully?”
ORZAG: “Yes, it was, and that’s why this was something that was very difficult to actually …
This is why I think this was underappreciated that this is a very substantial change. Statutory power to put forward proposals to reduce health care costs growth over time … and improve quality, and those proposals take effect automatically if Congress ignores them, if Congress votes them down and the President vetoes that bill. So, in other words, inertia now plays to the side of this Independent Board.“
Wasn’t it the Democrats’ job, as sponsors of health care reform, to help Americans focus on the important parts of the legislation — like the Independent Medical Advisory Board? Instead, they clearly felt their job was to hide the ball.