Oops. I forgot for a moment that the Thought Police have forbidden us to call it a “death panel.” The permitted label is “Independent Payment Advisory Board.” But when OMB Director Peter Orszag describes its powers, it sounds an awful lot like a … well … you know … 

This Independent Payment Advisory Board has statutory power to make proposals that reduce costs … and those proposals take effect automatically unless Congress votes them down and the President signs that bill.

How is this a death panel? Well, a huge percentage of U.S. health care costs are incurred by seniors during the last year of their lives. They need expensive drugs and fancy machinery to keep them alive. Thus, the easiest way for the all-powerful IPAB to save money will be to deny pricey care to Granny.

Is this the hysterical yammering of an unhinged wingnut? Nope. In fact, the model for IPAB is Great Britain’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). And NICE routinely offers ”proposals,” invariably followed by the National Health Service, that result in the denial of life-extending care.

This is the essence of rationing, and the result for Granny is … well … death. But hey, it’ll save a few bucks and Granny’s gonna croak soon anyway. So, the Death Panel Independent Payment Advisory Board is a good thing, right? And, besides, Granny’s coughing wakes me up at night.

[ht Breitbart]

Comments 7

  1. Marc Brown wrote:

    That’s right David, In Europe, older people are just left to die. Funny that we have longer life expectancies than Americans though. If I were you I’d argue for every American to have a personal life support machine (won’t cost much – only a few trillion) – who knows, you could live much longer but you may just not be awake to know it.

    Posted 27 Apr 2010 at 12:57 pm
  2. z9z99 wrote:

    The difficulty of such institutional approaches to cost savings can be illustrated by a simple question: “Is it cost-effective to treat aspiration pneumonia?”

    Posted 27 Apr 2010 at 2:22 pm
  3. Joseph C. wrote:

    “If I were you I’d argue for every American to have a personal life support machine (won’t cost much – only a few trillion) – who knows, you could live much longer but you may just not be awake to know it.”

    You’re forgetting the expense of Japanese service robots to attend to 300,000,000 patients. With everyone on vents, there would be no health care staff left to do this. I suppose we could outsource some of this work to moonlighting NHS personnel, but that is the less desirable option because their critical care skills are a little rusty.

    Posted 27 Apr 2010 at 2:29 pm
  4. Marc Brown wrote:

    Actually, the solution to costs is obvious – it’s the administration that is bloated and needs to be drastically pruned, as this article makes clear:


    ‘For every one doctor there are 5 more are employed to do administrative tasks.’

    I’d start with the finance departments – David, please close the door on your way out.

    Posted 28 Apr 2010 at 3:02 am
  5. BobMan wrote:

    We all are the property of the United State of Obama. As property, we have no say in our treatment. Shut up and DIE!

    p.s. To Marc Brown, remember France, summer of 2003?


    Hell yes, in Europe, the elderly ARE left to die!

    Posted 28 Apr 2010 at 5:47 am
  6. Nursereese wrote:

    BobMan—The people who died in the heat wave of 2003 died because they did NOT seek medical attention and lived independently. NOT the elderly under medical supervision or in nursing homes. (Yes they have nursing homes in Europe, they don’t just cast people into the street to die.)

    Posted 10 May 2010 at 10:07 am
  7. Marc Brown wrote:

    And remember Chicago 1995 heat wave when the health system manifestly failed local citizens and more than 700 died.

    Posted 10 May 2010 at 2:55 pm

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