http://www.medpagetoday.com/Washington-Watch/Reform/38850?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2013-05-04&utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DailyHeadlines&utm_source=WC&eun=g578717d0r&

Medicare: Cost-Cutters on Hold

From the article:

Spitalnic pegged the 5-year average of Medicare spending at 1.15% — well below its trigger target of 3.03%. That means the first possible year IPAB could impact healthcare is 2016. The 1.15% figure is the average growth from 2011 to 2015.

As 10 K baby boomers become Medicare eligible each day.. who believes that increases in Medicare spending will stay below the “trigger”?

The ACA created the IPAB as a back-stop to curbing federal spending on Medicare. If spending topped a pre-specified target, the 15-member board would draft ways to cut spending. The savings would equal however much it would take to fall below the spending target.

Congress would have to either vote as a super-majority to overrule the cuts or come up with its own alternatives equal to those IPAB cuts. If Congress failed to act, the cuts would take place.

But IPAB has drawn heated debate because its unelected members can draft changes to Medicare that can take effect with little to no congressional oversight or outside comment. Critics say the board could lead to “rationing” of care.

However, the ACA mandates that IPAB “cannot propose any recommendation to ‘ration’ care, raise revenues, increase beneficiary premiums or cost-sharing, restrict benefits, or alter rules for Medicare eligibility,” according to a Health Affairs brief on the IPAB published last year. In addition, the IPAB is limited by the ACA as to how much it can cut from the Medicare budget: 1% of total Medicare outlays in 2016, 1.25% in 2017, and 1.5% in 2018 and thereafter, the brief stated.

And we thought that the HMO’s of the 70’s & 80’s did not work out well… because they were a “for profit” entity… now we are going to have bureaucrats that the only way that they know how to “control costs” .. is to add another layer of bureaucrats – and additional costs – to try to control costs..

IMO.. the only people that MAY like Obamacare.. is those that need little/no care from the system… everyone else is probably “screwed” !