Death Panels: CER and IPAB Proof

In last night’s poorly crafted ‘documentary’, Chris Matthews laments that we still have to listen to Sarah Palin talk about “death panels”.

And so it would seem appropriate to resurrect these two videos that prove not only are there death panels, but they were there long before Palin mentioned them. They come in the form of advisory boards who as part of the government, will determine which procedures are valid and how much money is to be spent on whom.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research to coordinate comparative effectiveness research across the Federal government. The Council will specifically make recommendations for the $400 million allocated to the Office of the Secretary for CER. In the stimulus bill, CER, or Comparative Effective Research panel will provide “…information on the relative strengths and weakness of various medical interventions”.

By following the link you can actually see who serves on these boards that will be the determiners of what procedures are considered worthy. Here is the report: CER [PDF]

Then we have in the health care bill, something called an “Independent Payment Advisory Board” which would propose how to cut funding for Medicare. Hear Peter Orszag talk about how this was clearly explained to the Congress before they voted.

If this is one lie that Matthews promoted, you can be sure most of the rest of his ‘documentary’ was off base too. Here is one of Obama’s czars, explaining rationing and praising IPABs and CERs. At around 17:15 he says it was “underappreciated” when it was explained to congress — “statutory power to put forward proposals to reduce health care costs…”

If the above video does not appear on your device, use this direct link:

In related news, Betsy McCaughey writes in the NY Post about Obama’s radical pick for Medicare, Dr. Donald Berwick.

She writes: “Berwick laid out his “Triple Aim” plan in an article he co-authored in Health Affairs (May-June 2008), advocating widespread government use of the “medical home” model. The Congressional Budget Office says that’s a version of HMO-style medicine, with a primary-care provider to oversee your access to costly services such as visits to specialists and diagnostic tests. But in Berwick’s plan, many — perhaps most — primary-care providers would not be physicians.

Ever since Medicare was founded in 1965, seniors have been able to call any doctor who takes Medicare, get treatment and have the federal government pay. Not in the future.

The Obama health law will give Berwick wide latitude to make this change. Congress empowered the Health and Human Services secretary (Berwick’s boss, if he’s confirmed) to make vast changes in how care is delivered under Medicare, including setting up pilot programs — such as medical homes — and then expanding them nationwide.

In his Triple Aim plan, Berwick laments that US health care is “designed to focus on the acute needs of individual patients.” He argues for a different focus, social justice.

Instead of doctors making decisions autonomously in the interest of their own patients, he wants a nationwide plan allocating resources “to anticipate and shape patterns of care for important subgroups.” These subgroups — which can be defined by age, disease affliction or socio-economic status — should be the “unit of concern,” not the individual patient.

Will the elderly be a favored subgroup? Not under the Obama health law. An April 22 report by Medicare and Medicaid chief actuary Richard Foster shows that the law nearly doubles Medicaid rolls at a cost of $410 billion over the next decade.”

Berwick confessed, “I am a romantic about the NHS. I love it. All I have to do to rediscover the romance is to look at the health care in my own country.” He praised the NHS for its central planning, frugality, wealth redistribution and rationing”.

Related: Paul Krugman on Death Panels