House Republican: Health Care Panel Means Patients ‘Going To Die’

A House Republican says a Medicare board created by the health care law will kill people.

Reprising the “death panel” meme that cast a pall over the health care reform debate in 2009, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) charged Wednesday that the Independent Payment Advisory Board — a panel charged with reducing growth in Medicare spending — will cause patients to die.

“[U]nder this IPAB we described that the Democrats put in Obamacare, where a bunch of bureaucrats decide whether you get care, such as continuing on dialysis or cancer chemotherapy, I guarantee you when you withdraw that the patient is going to die,” Gingrey said. “It’s rationing.”IPAB will be comprised of 15 Senate-confirmed commissioners, appointed by the President in consultation with Congressional leaders. Its recommendation will become official policy unless overturned by Congress and replaced with equivalent cost-cutting measures. Though its legislative charter forbids it from “rationing” care, it will be tasked with shedding waste inherent in Medicare’s fee-for-service model.

However, it will not stop paying for dialysis or chemotherapy, as Gingrey suggested.

Though it’s one of the most promising cost-control measures in the health care law, IPAB has come under fire from Republicans (and even a few Democrats). Several conservatives and Republicans have now attacked it as the “real” death panel in health care reform. And its long-term fate is uncertain.

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