The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that a long-term health care program called the CLASS Act - enacted as part of last year's troubled health care reform package - was being shelved because none of the bureaucrats in Washington could figure out how to make it viable and financially sustainable. That is a refreshing, if fleeting, moment of clear thinking. If only the administration would acknowledge that the same structural flaws and budgetary gimmickry that make the CLASS Act untenable are sown throughout the entire health care law.
Perhaps the most underreported and, until recently, least discussed aspect of the Affordable Care Act is IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board. This 15-person unelected panel has yet to be selected; however, it will be a key to the success of Obamacare.
President Obama recently received a harsh letter from an important ally. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, an organization that has long supported the president's health care reform efforts, wrote to express its opposition to the health care law's Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
President Obama used to claim Medicare would save money by implementing the principle that if the "red pill" works just as well as the "blue pill," but costs half as much, patients should get the red pill. That dangerously simplistic notion now boasts an enforcer created by last year's Obamacare legislation.
House Republicans called Tuesday for repealing a panel created by the new health care law they say will lead to rationing - highlighting a controversy they hope to use against Democrats in next year's elections.
With Medicare's trustees predicting the Medicare program will go bankrupt in 2024 - five years earlier than was projected before the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - even Americans who strongly supported Obamacare have little choice but to acknowledge that Medicare must be reformed - and soon. While lawmakers continue to argue about the best way to protect this vital program for the seniors it serves and those who it has yet to serve, there is a growing bipartisan consensus that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is one provision of the new health law that will do more to undermine the program than save it.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' announcement that he can't play in the presidential primaries because his wife and daughters say he's not allowed to is terrible news for the GOP and the country.
In a chapter titled "Who, Whom?" from his classic book "The Road to Serfdom," F. A. Hayek warned of the universal problem of a socialist society: "Who plans whom, who directs and dominates whom, who assigns to other people their station in life, and who is to have his due allotted by others?"
This week marks the one-year anniversary of Obamacare, and there has been no shortage of Washington rhetoric on the goals of the legislation for the occasion: Bending the cost curve. Reducing health insurance premiums. Expanding the number of insured Americans. But as we mark this anniversary, it's important to note the other agenda that has been missed in the debates of the past two years: reining in our doctors. Look carefully at the legislation signed into law by President Obama last March, and you'll discover a not-so-subtle campaign to dramatically reshape the doctor-patient relationship. From compensation to autonomy, Obamacare represents something of a war on doctors.