Words of wisdom

From Ross Douthat (1/20):

The only counter-argument here is the claim that the cost-cutting powers the White House wants to grant to IPAB (Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, that is) actually represents a courageous attempt to dramatically cut spending via the sustained rationing of care…The problem is that this isn’t how the President has sold the board to the public: Instead, he’s promised that it will only reduce “unnecessary spending,” which is basically the equivalent of a Republican promising to keep the entitlement system solvent by reducing Medicare fraud. (There is unnecessary spending in Medicare, certainly, but asking a 15-person board to distinguish the necessary from the unnecessary is a lot harder than many liberals seem to think.) There’s no Congressional Budget Office projection in which IPAB seriously closes the deficit, and no detail, from the White House or anyone, on what a successfully-IPABified Medicare would mean for seniors’ out-of-pocket costs. 


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