Rep. Ellmers Takes IPAB Fear Mongering To A New Extreme

June 22, 2011 10:50 am ET — Kate Conway

In recent weeks, Republicans still determined to destroy the Affordable Care Act have latched onto a provision in the health care law that creates an independent board, free of the influences of political bickering, that will make recommendations on how to keep health care costs down. In the hands of the GOP, however, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is distorted into an ominous board of bureaucrats empowered to grant or deny health care to patients.

Suddenly, with a fresh coat of GOP lingo, a board which does not have the power to even recommend rationing health care or changing Medicare benefits becomes a "rationing board" that will "decide what care is 'unnecessary' for seniors." With Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), the misrepresentation of IPAB becomes even more melodramatic. Last night on the House floor, the former nurse described her vision of an "Obamacare" health care system in which distraught relatives will have to break the news to loved ones that IPAB bureaucrats have decided, "Your doctor cannot do surgery on you and there is no way that we can appeal it."

As it is right now, 500 billion dollars has been taken out and a 15 person panel will be put in place to decide what kind of health care you receive. That right will be taken away from you and your physician. Imagine a group of individuals without any health care background whatsoever deciding for you whether or not you'll be able to have surgery or whether or not you'll be able to have a treatment. Imagine trying to explain that to your family. Imagine sitting at the bedside of your loved one and telling them that, no, I'm sorry. Your doctor cannot do surgery on you and there is no way that we can appeal it. That is what has been put in place by Obamacare. 


Ellmers' fear mongering about IPAB may be extreme, but even casual "rationing board" characterizations have no basis in fact. Rather, they're merely the latest in a series of gimmicks and mischaracterizations in the GOP's desperate crusade against the Affordable Care Act.

Read more about the Independent Payment Advisory Board HERE.