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.