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ObamaCare Gets A Booster Shot

- February 16, 2012

Obama’s FY13 Injects Bureaucrats With More Power And More Money

OBAMA’S 2013 BUDGET WOULD GIVE MORE POWER TO IPAB

IPAB Would Have More Power To Cut Medicare Benefits

Obama’s 2013 Budget Would “Strengthen The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) To Reduce Long-Term Drivers Of Medicare Cost Growth. (OMB, 2/13/12)

Obama’s Budget Lowers The Threshold For IPAB To Make Payment Changes To Medicare And Provides IPAB With “Additional Tools” To Control Spending. “To further moderate the rate of Medicare growth, this pro­posal would lower the target rate from the GDP per capita growth rate plus 1 percent to plus 0.5 percent. Additionally, the proposal would give IPAB additional tools like the ability to consider value-based benefit design.” (OMB, 2/13/12)

With IPAB, Obama Is Not Reducing Costs But “Limiting Or Denying Care.” “His plan: Use the Independent Payment Advisory Board to limit care and squeeze doctors and hospitals. In other words, he’s not reducing costs; he is limiting or denying care.” (Jennifer Rubin, “Obama’s Reverse Course On The Debt,” The Washington Post’s Right Turn Blog,” 9/19/11)

If Approved, Obama’s Plan For IPAB Could Force Further Cuts To Medical Providers. “Obama also wants to give additional authority to a new agency called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which could force further cuts for medical providers.” (“Obama’s Deficit Plan Targets Drug Companies, Hospitals And Future Medicare Beneficiaries,” The Associated Press, 9/20/11)

Last Summer, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Admitted That IPAB Threatens Seniors’ Access To Certain Procedures. “If Congress accepted the recommendations and made the decision that cuts in dialysis were appropriate. I assume that there could be some providers who would decide that would not be a service they would any longer deliver...” (Kathleen Sebelius, House Energy And Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, Testimony, 7/13/11)

Yet Even Democrats Think IPAB Is A Mistake

Strengthening IPAB Is More Controversial As Democrats Work To Repeal It. “Some proposals will be controversial, such as the White House’s reiterated commitment to strengthening the Independent Payment Advisory Board (even as some house Democrats work to repeal it).” (Sarah Kliff, “How The White House Would Save $320 Billion In Health-Care Costs,” The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog,” 9/19/11)

Seventeen Democrats Have Co-Sponsored Legislation To Repeal IPAB. (H.R. 452, Introduced 1/26/11)

  • Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ): “[U]ltimately The IPAB Is Going To Get Repealed.” (N.C. Aizenman, “Republicans, Health Industry Lobbyists Target Medicare Cost-Cutting Board,” The Washington Post, 8/13/11)

Even Democrats Argue That IPAB “Could Arbitrarily Cut Services To Medicare Patients And Payments To Providers.” “But some Democrats, as well as most Republicans and health care providers argue the panel could arbitrarily cut services to Medicare patients and payments to providers with little congressional oversight.” (Jennifer Haberkorn, “Democrats Split On Independent Payment Advisory Board,” Politico, 7/10/11)

OBAMA’S BUDGET CALLS FOR NEARLY A BILLION DOLLARS TO FUND OBAMACARE’S EXCHANGES

Obama Requested A $4.8 Billion Budget To Implement ObamaCare, A 26 Percent Increase Or Nearly $1 Billion More Than Last Year. “The plan would give the agency a $4.8 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning next October 1, an increase of nearly $1 billion, or 26 percent from this year. About 87 percent of the new money would go to fund state exchanges, which are required to be up and running in January 2014.” (David Morgan, “Obama’s ’13 Budget To Increase Health Care Savings,” Reuters, 2/13/12)

  • Obama’s Budget Would Steer $864 Million For The Creation Of ObamaCare’s Mandated State Health Insurance Exchanges. “President Obama's budget includes $864 million to get a key element of his healthcare reform law off the ground. The law requires health insurance exchanges to be in place in all 50 states by Jan. 1, 2014. States that want to run their own exchanges must pass muster with the federal government by the end of 2013; the federal government will operate a default exchange in states that fail to launch their own.” (Julian Pecquet, “Obama Budget Sets Aside $864 Million To Set Up Health Care Law,” The Hill’s Health Watch,” 2/13/12)

Even Though Exchanges Threaten  Employer Based Health Coverage

Small Businesses Are Considering Dropping Health Coverage Due To The Exchanges. “The NFIB finds that 26% of small businesses today sponsoring insurance are ‘very likely’ to drop it should their employees start to flood government coverage. Another 31% of the 750 firms surveyed report they are ‘somewhat likely.’” (Editorial, “The Flight To The Exchanges,” The Wall Street Journal7/25/11)

  • Mercer Survey: Nine Percent Of Employers Are “Likely” To Drop Coverage Once Exchanges Begin Offering Coverage. “Nine percent of employers with 500 or more workers say they are likely to cancel health benefits in 2014 after state-run health insurance exchanges begin offering coverage under the health care law.” (John Reichard, “Mercer Says 9 Percent Of Big Employers Likely To Drop Coverage In 2014,” Congressional Quarterly, 11/17/11)

The Percentage Of American Adults Who Receive Employer Sponsored Insurance Declined In 2011. “Fewer Americans got their health insurance from an employer in 2011 (44.6%) than in 2010 (45.8%), continuing the downward trend Gallup and Healthways have documented since 2008.” (Elizabeth Mendes, “Fewer Americans Have Employer-Based Health Insurance,” Gallup, 2/14/12)

  • Since ObamaCare Was Passed, Employer-Sponsored Health Care Has Continued To Decline. “The percentage of Americans who have employer-based health insurance has been declining since 2008 and has dropped to a low of 44.6% this year. At the same time, more Americans are now uninsured and more are insured through a government program.” (Elizabeth Mendes, “Fewer Americans Have Employer-Based Health Insurance,” Gallup, 2/14/12)

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