IPAB Continues To Draw Repeal Talk
Health exchanges, accountable care organizations, high-risk pools and waivers are among health law hot topics also attracting headlines.
The Associated Press: Accusations Fly Over Obscure Medicare Board
So long death panels. Hello "rationing" board. An independent panel authorized by President Barack Obama's health care law to control excessive Medicare cost increases is drawing heavy fire from Republicans. Nearly every health industry lobbying group is pushing for its repeal, as are some consumer advocates. GOP lawmakers call it a rationing panel, and at least one has suggested seniors will die from its decisions (Alonso-Zaldivar, 7/18).
CQ HealthBeat: GOP Rallies Opposition To Medicare Board, Wants Repeal Vote In Early Fall
The work of a commission created by the health overhaul law to find ways to reduce Medicare costs probably won't get under way for two more years. And experts say its decisions won't affect the program for another decade. Somehow, though, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, known as IPAB, has become the target of the moment. Lawmakers say the board will lead to rationing and usurp the job Congress is elected to do. They hope to hold a House floor vote early in the fall to try to repeal the board (Adams, 7/15).
Roll Call: Heard On The Hill: Health Care's Mob Boss?
Death panels are so 2010. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) - or Dr. Phil, as we like to think of him - wants the world to know the real threat to Americans' health care could be a mob boss. Speaking at an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing last week, the GOP Doctors Caucus co-chairman came prepared with the all-time favorite Congressional accessory: enormous posters. His three poster boards featured quotations from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Don Berwick - sayings that Gingrey said made him worry that the administration plans to deny health care to seniors. But the final poster also featured an iconic image: the Godfather, calmly holding a cat, next to Berwick's words. "I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce, through choice, the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care," the poster quoted Berwick as saying. "That is for the leaders to do" (Semani, 7/18).
The Wall Street Journal: Romney Adviser Backs Obama Health Exchanges
Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, a top supporter and adviser of Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney, strenuously backed the core piece of President Barack Obama's health care law and urged the states to move forward together in adopting health insurance exchanges (Weisman, 7/16).
Minnesota Public Radio: Health Care Law Encourages Collaboration, But Anti-Trust Worries Arise
The health care overhaul is designed to prod hospitals, physicians and clinics to come together through cooperation or even combining to form so-called Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). ... [T]he Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice proposed a strict set of rules designed to prevent ACOs from becoming monopolies. Under the proposal, an ACO with more than 50 percent of market share of a particular service has to submit to a mandatory federal anti-trust review (Stawicki, 7/18).
Related, earlier KHN story: New ACO Rules Outline Gains And Risks For Doctors, Hospitals (Rau, Galewitz and Vaida, 3/31).
CQ HealthBeat: Modest Growth In High-Risk Pool Continues
Another 3,258 people nationwide signed up in May for the high-risk pool known as the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), according to figures released late Friday. The small uptick in enrollment marks the third month in a row in which enrollment in the program has grown by about 3,000 people. As of May 31, a total of 24,712 people had been approved in the nearly a year that PCIP has been running, the figures show. That's about double the number of people who had been enrolled as of the end of January (Adams, 7/15).
The Hill: Number Of Health Care Waivers Nears 1,500
The Health and Human Services Department granted 39 new waivers last month from part of the health care law, bringing the total to just shy of 1,500. In September, HHS will stop the process of granting a new batch of one-year waivers at the end of each month. Companies have until Sept. 22 to file their initial application for a one-year reprieve and seek an extension to carry them through the next three years (Baker, 7/15).
ABC: Health Care Waivers Now At 1,471
The Obama administration granted 39 waivers from part of the President's health care law last month, bringing the total to 1,471, an announcement which is prompting one Republican Senator to introduce legislation that would allow all Americans to apply for a waiver. Wyoming Republican John Barrasso said today that he plans to introduce a bill next week that "will deliver choice to Americans who want to get the care they need, from the doctor they want, at a price they can afford" by allowing all Americans to apply for a waiver from the president's health care law (Bruce, 7/15).