March 12, 2012

Revolt against Obamacare's Central Committee - the IPAB

My faith in the inherent soundness of the American citizenry is strengthened when 75% of Americans are against Obamacare and a clear majority think it's a bad thing, according to a CNN/Gallup poll.

One example of a very bad thing that's received too little attention: the unaccountable, unelected Central Committee of Obamacare, the IPAB, will not be required to tell us what regulations they plan to enact and whatever regulations they do promulgate  will not be reviewable either in administrative proceedings or in the courts.  The IPAB is the rationing board, the ultimate in government price control

Last week, 24 medical organizations representing 350,000 doctors urged Congress to repeal Medicare’s new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). That’s the right prescription for improving American health care and protecting access to innovative treatments for seniors.

Getting rid of the health care rationing board

The IPAB is the ultimate backstop to try to reining in the costs of the gigantic new entitlement...If the IPAB survives, it’s predictable what will occur: It will try small steps and then larger and more onerous ones aimed at reining in costs. And when all those fail, the reimbursement rates will be slashed. The Democrats may declare “rationing” isn’t in the cards, but when health-care providers can’t be adequately reimbursed, they limit or eliminate certain treatment options.

Even Democrats are joining the Independent Payment Advisory Revolt

The vehicle is a bill from Tennessee Republican Phil Roe that would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, the new ObamaCare bureaucracy with vast powers to control health care and health markets starting next year. A straight majority of the House has joined Mr. Roe as co-sponsors—some 234 Members, including 20 Democrats.
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This turn is remarkable because the IPAB really does embody ObamaCare's innermost I values and beliefs—to wit, that health decisions are too important to leave to the people receiving the care (patients), the people providing the care (doctors and hospitals), the people paying for the care (taxpayers), or even the people who got the government involved in the first place (politicians).
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The irony is that the White House is expanding the government-run health care that it says the government can't be trusted to run by itself, even as its unaccountable, unelected board undermines democratic consent. The IPAB was relieved of the normal checks and balances of notice-and-comment rulemaking, and its edicts aren't subject to administrative or even judicial review. Consumers have far more rights of legal recourse under the private health plans that Mr. Obama deplores.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:39 AM | Permalink

Twitching teens

When the story of the teen age girls who suddenly developed a mysterious twitching disorder, some  thought environmental contamination of some sort was the cause, others thought it was a classic case of mass hysteria or mass psychogenic illness.  Or maybe even mirror neurons.

Susan Dominus went to Le Roy to unravel The Mystery of 18 Twitching Teenagers.

Before the media vans took over Main Street, before the environmental testers came to dig at the soil, before the doctor came to take blood, before strangers started knocking on doors and asking question after question, Katie Krautwurst, a high-school cheerleader from Le Roy, N.Y., woke up from a nap. Instantly, she knew something was wrong. Her chin was jutting forward uncontrollably and her face was contracting into spasms. She was still twitching a few weeks later when her best friend, Thera Sanchez, captain of one of the school’s cheerleading squads, awoke from a nap stuttering and then later started twitching, her arms flailing and head jerking. Two weeks after that, Lydia Parker, also a senior, erupted in tics and arm swings and hums. Then word got around that Chelsey Dumars, another cheerleader, who recently moved to town, was making the same strange noises, the same strange movements, leaving school early on the days she could make it to class at all. The numbers grew — 12, then 16, then 18, in a school of 600 — and as they swelled, the ranks of the sufferers came to include a wider swath of the Le Roy high-school hierarchy
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A common thread emerged among the five girls I interviewed extensively: none had stable relationships with their biological fathers. --

When the subject of the girls’ personal backgrounds came up — the biopsychosocial factors that might be affecting their health — Trifiletti said he had not had the time to ask them about those kinds of things. The abuse, the troubling family circumstances — much of it came as news to him. “Jeez, I didn’t realize the extent,” Trifiletti said. “These aren’t things people want to talk about."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:21 AM | Permalink

Government failing elderly in Britain

Walter Russell Mead, 50% of UK Nursing Home Patients Abused By Government Health Care

Fans of government health care keep telling us that government can do the job, and they point to countries like the UK as examples where single payer, government run health care systems deliver high quality, compassionate care.

They are either grossly ignorant or they are lying through their teeth.

A recent study by a British healthcare regulator finds that half of all elderly people in Britain’s nursing homes are being denied basic health services.

Half.

And you can't fire them.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:13 AM | Permalink