Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November 16th, 2011

While you were asleep…

[Henry J.] Aaron, a recent Obama nominee, has expressed similar views. He wrote a piece earlier this year called, “The Independent Payment Advisory Board — Congress’s ‘Good Deed.’” The grisly IPAB, one of the most underreported of Obamacare’s myriad of liberty-sapping features, would have the power to cut Medicare spending each year — if Obamacare isn’t repealed first. The dictates of its 15 unelected members would effectively become law. In fact, Congress couldn’t even overturn the IPAB’s decrees with a majority vote in each house and the President’s signature.–  Weekly Standard

All right, that’s cool.  But hey, let’s take a peek at what the IPAB is supposed to be about.

IPAB is tasked with developing specific proposals to bring the net growth in Medicare spending back to target levels if the Medicare Actuary determines that net spending is forecast to exceed target levels, beginning in 2015.

The proposals made by IPAB must not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or increase Medicare beneficiary premiums, increase Medicare beneficiary cost sharing (deductibles, coinsurance, or co-payments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must implement these proposals unless Congress adopts equally effective alternatives. The board is also required to submit to Congress annual reports on health care costs, access, quality, and utilization. IPAB must submit to Congress recommendations on how to slow the growth in total private health care expenditures.

Every year on September 1, IPAB must submit a draft proposal to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. On January 15 of the next year IPAB must submit a proposal to Congress. If IPAB fails to meet this deadline, the HHS must create its own proposal. Congress must consider this proposal under special rules. Congress cannot consider any amendment to the proposal that does not achieve similar cost reductions unless both houses of Congress, including a three-fifths super majority in the Senate, vote to waive this requirement. If Congress fails to adopt a substitute provision by August 15, HHS must implement the proposal as originally submitted to Congress.

With regard to IPAB’s recommendations, the law says “The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums under section 1818, 1818A, or 1839, increase Medicare beneficiary cost sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.

Even that much is bothersome but the idea that ANY regulatory agency is out of the reach of congress and the president is ludicrous.  Effectively that says that a ruling body in the United States is not accountable to the people when our government must be subject to the approval of it’s citizens.

Reads like a nightmare.  From LiveLeaks.com

Obama has since doubled-down on the IPAB, seeking to grant it even more power to cut Medicare spending than Obamacare would grant it. To be clear, this is in addition to the nearly $1 trillion that the Congressional Budget Office says would be siphoned out of Medicare and spent on Obamacare during the overhaul’s real first decade (2014 to 2023).

Aaron praises the IPAB, although he does admit to having a few problems with it. He thinks that its largely unchecked power isn’t unchecked enough, as the board should be able to order payment reductions for other aspects of medical care that have so far escaped its statutory grant of power. He writes,

“I admit that the provisions governing the IPAB are less than optimal. For example, recommendations regarding payments to acute and long-term care hospitals, hospices and inpatient rehabilitation and psychiatric facilities are off-limits until 2020; and those to clinical laboratories are off-limits until 2016. These politically motivated restrictions should be repealed as early as possible so the IPAB’s recommendations can comprehend the delivery system as a whole.”

****

Obama, the pro-gun candidate, has moved in a direction no one could have foreseen.

Gun owners who have historically been able to use public lands for target practice would be barred from potentially millions of acres under new rules drafted by the Interior Department, the first major move by the Obama administration to impose limits on firearms.

First major anti-gun move that hasn’t been “under the radar”, that is.

“It’s not so much a safety issue. It’s a social conflict issue,” said Frank Jenks, a natural resource specialist with Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, which oversees 245 million acres. He adds that urbanites “freak out” when they hear shooting on public lands.  – The BLM, being sensitive to urbanite’s feelings.

Note:  If you did not notice the heavy sarcasm you need a CAT scan of your brain.

****

Hey hey hey!!  Now you can get tuberculosis, the clap, AIDS, and RINGWORM – all while hanging around with the 0.0001% that don’t even remotely speak for the rest of the 99%.

Not surprising, given the video of the Occupier taking a dump on the street yesterday.

They are still much much better than the Tea Party folks, with their racist attitudes and conservative ideologies.

And it is pretty obvious that in spite of the behavior of a few they are still better than the Tea Party folks.

“On the 17th, we’re going to burn New York City to the ground.”

“No more talking. They’ve got guns, we’ve got bottles. They’ve got bricks, we’ve got rocks…in a few days you’re going to see what a Molotov cocktail can do to Macy’s.”  – An Occupy protestor at Zuccotti Park

****

Just in case you never had the opportunity, please check out the list of 2011 Obamaczars I saw today.

Read Full Post »