Senator John Cornyn, my Senator from Texas, has introduced a Bill to repeal the power of the (Medicare) Independent Advisory Board. As the Senator says, the Board of 15 appointed, non-elected bureaucrats will determine what services are offered to Medicare-eligible patients. Those recommendations will be based on economics, not on actual patients or on their needs. (Did you know that the US Preventive Services says that the evidence for Prostate Specific Antigen tests and prostate exams and annual mammograms or teaching breast self-exams is “insufficient?”)
From the Senator:
We should learn from Britain’s mistakes rather than repeat them — and we should also listen to voices of Texans in our state. The IPAB has created “immediate uncertainty at hand,” says Scott & White Healthcare in central Texas, for their 12 hospitals and more than 800 physicians. Many more organizations and associations have expressed similar concerns and urged me to do what I can to repeal this ill-conceived bureaucratic board.
That’s why I have introduced the Health Care Bureaucrats Elimination Act, and why I’m testifying Wednesday on the other side of the Capitol to build support in the House. This legislation seeks to repeal the IPAB completely and defuse this bureaucratic bomb before it explodes.
Opposition to the IPAB is already a bipartisan affair in the House. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), for one, is in favor of abolishing this panel. As Pallone put it, “I’m opposed to independent commissions or outside groups playing a role other than on a recommendatory basis.”
Repealing this unelected board of bureaucrats does not mean giving up on efforts to reduce costs in Medicare. A better model is Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, which has come in under budget by more than 40 percent. It has achieved this by introducing competition and choice into the system.
Several other initiatives at the state level and in the private sector have also cut costs without sacrificing quality or access to care. Congress should take a look at them as well.
Our seniors have paid their hard-earned money into Medicare for years. They deserve far better than to see their health care placed at the mercy of 15 unelected bureaucrats.