Michael Cannon of Cato Institute’s Health Policy Studies appeared on the Kelly File to discuss the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) aka “Death Panels”.
Cannon explained that the point of the IPAB was to “reduce Medicare spending by lowering the prices Medicare pays to doctors and hospitals….and supporters of the law acknowledge this….the power to set price is the power to ration.”
And the IPAB, he argued, “can even go beyond that. I can, despite a prohibition on rationing that’s in the statute, it can tell seniors, ‘you’re not going to get specific treatments'” because “the prohibition against rationing is absolutely unenforceable – it is toothless. The IPAB can do whatever it wants and it’s going to take 60 votes in the Senate to override and block what the IPAB does.”
Although he called the term “death panel” inflammatory, Cannon said, the rationing is baked into the cake as Halperin said. “It’s part of Obama’s plan, and he’s not been honest with the American people about it.”
As for Halperin’s recent waffling on the issue, Cannon said, “he wants to sell books to Democrats and he wants to sell books to Republicans, and so he doesn’t want to alienate either side, and I understand that….but he had it right the first time…”
He went on to slam Politifact for calling Sarah Palin’s Death Panels comment, “the lie of the year,” as I recently noted, here. “Politifact didn’t know what they were talking about! Politifact got that completely wrong – fact checkers get things wrong all the time! But what they have been able to do is shame people – like Halperin – out of having a rational discussion about these issues…”