One of President Obama’s key proposals to reduce skyrocketing Medicare costs is a so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The IPAB would consist of 15 members appointed by the president (and confirmed by the Senate), empowered to decide what medical tests and procedures Medicare would cover and how much it would pay providers.
Sound familiar? It should:
We’ve already seen a foretaste of this when a federal government medical panel attempted to save money by restricting screening mammography to women over age 50, even though decades of medical research has shown clear benefits to starting annual mammograms at age 40.
Hsieh goes on to point out that IPAB has raised the ire of prominent Democrats as well as Republicans, but only because they want Congress to continue micromanaging Medicare.
The solution that no one seems to take seriously happens to be the only one that will actually control costs—free market reform. To read the rest of Dr. Hsieh’s column go here.