On the bright side of Senate’s terrible budget deal, Obamacare’s ‘death panel’ is gone

The new budget deal just signed by President Trump lifts spending caps and increases military spending but it also removes a controversial component of Obamacare.

The $400 billion bill repealed the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, which the Affordable Care Act created back in 2010, The Wall Street Journal reported.

(AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

Democrats and Obamacare fans denied its existence while conservatives slammed what former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin called a “death panel” as it was devised to control care to recipients. The advisory board would have the power to determine – or ration – care by deciding how health dollars would be spent, making decisions based on their view of the cost, need, and patient diagnosis.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

One good development is that Republicans managed to include the repeal of ObamaCare’s Independent Advisory Payment Board, known as IPAB. The Obama central planners created this panel of bureaucrats to impose price controls on Medicare and it represents everything Americans hate about the Affordable Care Act: political rationing over individual choice.

IPAB was designed so its decisions would be nearly impossible for Congress to overrule. Repeal gives Republicans another health-care achievement to tout in the 2018 midterms, in addition to zeroing out the law’s penalty for declining to buy insurance as part of tax reform.


The media and Obama sycophants insisted the death panel’s existence had been “debunked” as Huffington Post even just reported on “Obamacare’s Mythical Death Panel.”

None of the members of the advisory board were ever appointed.

From The Washington Post:

Even the most earnest ACA defenders have admitted it was mostly a gimmick to help pay for the health-care law and never held any real promise for reining in Medicare spending. It would have been the job of the panel, made up of outside experts, to recommend Medicare savings to Congress (almost certainly through payment cuts to doctors). But the program’s spending growth never hit a designated threshold so the panel was never even formed.


“I was always offended by it. An august body makes decisions that the legislature is incapable of doing, but it was written in such a manner as to guarantee a certain outcome: provider cuts,” Rodney Whitlock, former health-care policy director for Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, said. “Thus providers banded together to kill it from the start. They made it so radioactive it was never launched. Today (and that’s a bit of an assumption) is finally reading the last rites.”


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Frieda Powers


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