Is the payment board a death panel?
Will be curtains for uninformed patients
groups or hospitals and the Resource-based Relative Value Scale for physicians. The AMA owns the codes that determine whether Medicare can pay for a procedure, and the Ama/specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee determines how Medicare dollars shall be divided. The committee has a lot in common with the Independent Payment Advisory Board.
Covert rationing is rampant even now, though largely undetected. Medicare patients can tell when their appointments are denied or delayed, but cannot learn so easily when they are denied access to care because doctors don’t tell them it exists.
Services that can’t be paid for will disappear.
The key, unasked question, which Congress, Medicare and the AMA are trying to duck, is whether Americans have the right to spend their own money to obtain necessary, lifesaving care, even if “covered” (but denied) by insurance. Or must they be at the mercy of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the Department of Health and Human Services, Blue Cross or other insurer, the Independent Payment Advisory Board or its successor? May physicians find a way to provide care that their patients value and accept compensation, or must all medical dollars flow through government-approved gatekeepers?
Many Medicare officials, and the AMA, are acting as if their desired answer is no.
What makes the Independent Payment Advisory Board or its equivalent a death panel is not constraints on what Medicare may pay, but the ban on balance billing or private payment.
When Josef Stalin decided to starve Ukraine, he confiscated all the food and exported it to the West or destroyed it. He also made it a crime to buy, sell or exchange things for food. He had a lot of people shot, but the vast majority simply perished of deprivation — the ultimate consequence of socialism.
If Americans lose the liberty to provide for their own medical care, some will get “free” contraceptives, abortions, mental health screenings or whatever else the czars think they should have. Others will get the “red pill” or the “blue pill” on the way to their premature deaths.