Sebelius vs. Orszag on the IPAB’s power

posted at 6:40 pm on July 18, 2011 by SueZeeQ

Comedy gold or a pathetic partisan ploy can characterize Kathleen Sebelius’s testimony when she attempts to minimize the immense authority granted to the Independent Medicare Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), when so many of us know the raw real deal.  On July 13, the House Subcomittee on Health and Energy held hearings on the controversial IPAB, in which Sebelius attempted to minimize and circumvent the truth (pdf and a must read) with regards to the IPAB.

Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX and yes, he is also Dr. Burgess) questioned Secretary Sebelius on several key factors, including the unelected 15-person panel, their potential recess appointments to avoid Senate confirmation, and the ultimate effects of this panel in reshaping the health care system.  Burgess does not let Sebelius off the hook, but pushes her on the IPAB’s power and lack of judicial oversight. The entire exchange is worth watching:

Sebelius touts that the IPAB is only a “fail-safe” and only makes recommendations if Congress does not act:

But Sebelius was defiant against claims that IPAB risks usurping the power of Congress to make changes to Medicare. “All final decisions remain in the hands of Congress,” Sebelius said in her prepared statement. “If Medicare costs are rising at an unsustainable rate, it’s Congress’s choice whether to accept those recommendations, or come up with recommendations of its own to put Medicare spending on a stable, sustainable path.” She reiterated her argument from yesterday’s Budget hearing that IPAB serves as a “backstop to ensure Medicare remains solvent for years to come.”

However, former OMB Director Peter Orszag has a quite different analysis regarding the IPAB with this interview, highlighted by Naked Emperor News for Breitbart TV:

Orszag clearly emphasizes ”[the IPAB] has an enormous amount of potential power.”  Orszag goes on to explain, “The proposals take effect automatically unless Congress, not only specifically votes them down, but Congress specifically votes them down (with 67 votes) and the President signs that bill. So, the default is now switched in a very important way.”

Orszag has repeated this in other forums stating that the IPAB was the most important part of ObamaCare (all emphasis mine):

The Medicare Commission, or Independent Payment Advisory Board, would have the power to override Congress if it rejected cuts to the entitlements programme for seniors, said Mr Orszag, a key architect of the reforms signed into law this week.

“This could well turn out to be as consequential for health policy as Federal Reserve policy was for monetary policy,” he said in an FT View from DC video interview. “The commission will put its proposals forward and if Congress does not act on them, or if it votes them down and the president then vetoes that bill, they will automatically take effect. Huge change.”

So, who is right?  Sebelius or Orszag?  My money is on Orszag. The fact is that no matter what Congress does, the IPAB will always have a way to enforce its “recommendations” and override Congress. Sebelius is intentionally misrepresenting the IPAB as being similar to the MedPAC board, which does indeed only give recommendations to Congress. Why would they need to have a duplicative board? Truth is, they are not the same and Sebelius knows it.

With the Democrats zeal to ram through ObamaCare, they created a monster and then stripped themselves of any oversight of said monster as clearly explained by Orszag.  If only the Democrats had read the original ObamaCare bill, didn’t scoff and snear at Republicans’ warnings, and didn’t believe their own rhetoric, it wouldn’t be so imperative to repeal the IPAB.  But wait, can they?

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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Sebelius?

What qualified her in the first place?

Answer.

Key West Reader on July 18, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Dear Lord …

darwin on July 18, 2011 at 6:45 PM

She was the Governor of …. what state? Kansas?

And, so, she shall be the arbitor of the Death Panels. Yes. All American Citizens will be certain to give all results to the former governor of Kansas. Because Obama said so.

/Eh, good luck with that sht.

Key West Reader on July 18, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Who and what does this one individual have to say? What makes she so awesomeness that she has the .. eh.

Whatever. Get off me back; get off my parents’ back; get off my childrens’ backs and get out of my farking gat danged life you disgusting POS.

/Sorry, I’m just getting a bit tired.

Key West Reader on July 18, 2011 at 6:49 PM

She was the Governor of …. what state? Kansas?

And, so, she shall be the arbitor of the Death Panels. Yes. All American Citizens will be certain to give all results to the former governor of Kansas. Because Obama said so.

/Eh, good luck with that sht.

Key West Reader on July 18, 2011 at 6:46 PM

She was also Tiller the Killer’s patron.
The…female dog… has blood on her hands.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 18, 2011 at 6:52 PM

But—But—But—I can still keep my doctor if I want to, Right???

dirtseller on July 18, 2011 at 6:52 PM

I have to believe (hope?) that the Constitution prevents the Legislative Branch from ceding its power/responsibility to the Executive, shy of a Constitutional Amendment to that specific effect. But who would gain “standing” in what kind of suit to drive this up to the SCOTUS?

Myno on July 18, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Congressman Michael Burgess R-TX. He’s my Representative.

The Doctors seem to be the ones weighing in. Dr Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. My Rep above, and don’t forget Dr Dan Benishek who replaced Stupak – after he threw the unborn under the Obamacare bus. You can read about the Houses Budget Plan on Dr Dan Benishek’s congressional website.

Dr Evil on July 18, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Sibelius: You’re 90 years old and want us to pay for a pacemaker? Take two aspirins and DIE !!! (evil laughter!)

(old lady in wheelchair wheels herself over cliff!)

Steve Z on July 18, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Sebelius = Dr. Kevorkian in skirts.

Steve Z on July 18, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Look at all the screaming about the Republicans even considering any long term fixes for Medicare, why would they take the heat? And why aren’t the cuts the Dems have made to providers being shouted from the roof tops? Is the public informed or do they believe that rich doctors and hospitals can afford the hit to their revenue?

Cindy Munford on July 18, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Sebelius lying?

Oh, the absolute SHOCK!

GarandFan on July 18, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Bart Stupak suggested after BP fouled the gulf that the money they set aside (20 Billion) to reimburse the gulf coast residents, be used to fund Obamacare. The good people of Michigan’s 1st District replaced Stupak with someone who doesn’t use the unborn as pawn in a game to fund their pork projects.

Dr Evil on July 18, 2011 at 6:58 PM

She was also Tiller the Killer’s patron.
The…female dog… has blood on her hands.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 18, 2011 at 6:52 PM

But, like Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Patty Murray, she’s a good Catholic.

bw222 on July 18, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Everybody calm down. It’s only an advisory board with no real power. Right?

JavelinaBomb on July 18, 2011 at 7:11 PM

These democrats are sadistic SOB’s.

jawkneemusic on July 18, 2011 at 7:17 PM

These Democrats aren’t the problem, it’s the people who elect them and defend them and make excuses for them that are the problem. Look at the public education system and tell me we couldn’t see this coming.

Lew on July 18, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Sebelius is a moonbat!..:)

Dire Straits on July 18, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Sebelius is a moonbat!..:)

Dire Straits on July 18, 2011 at 7:41 PM

An evil moonbat.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 18, 2011 at 7:46 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on July 18, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Good point..You have to watch out for those..:)

Dire Straits on July 18, 2011 at 7:48 PM

A Death Panel must
Have tyrannical power,
Or what is the point?

Haiku Guy on July 18, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Congress is in the drivers seat. Just like with the debt ceiling, right?

ctmom on July 18, 2011 at 8:18 PM

This is the future and Congress and Obamacare cannot stop it: Health Reformers

“As word of Dr. Forrest’s direct pay practice has spread, he has had a constant stream of physicians visiting his practice so others could learn how he has a successful financial model, happy patients and a sane lifestyle — something increasingly less common in the hamster-wheel model of primary care that is prevalent in current fee-for-service based primary care practices. “

Cash is king.

slickwillie2001 on July 18, 2011 at 8:52 PM

He told us he was going to fundamentally change America.

The damm fools never asked “from what to what”.

FOWG1 on July 18, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Sarah Palin proven correct again, DEATH PANEL = IPAB by any other name…

mathewsjw on July 18, 2011 at 10:38 PM

I have never seen another human being so frozen inside as Kathleen Sebelius. Does this woman actually people as objects? I ask myself these questions, because I don’t peronally know this woman. But there is something wrong there.

Little Nell on July 18, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Sorry didn’t preview. Should read: “Does this woman see people as objects”.

Little Nell on July 18, 2011 at 10:52 PM

The fact is that no matter what Congress does, the IPAB will always have a way to enforce its “recommendations” and override Congress.

So, in other words, the government agency will in effect have dictatorial powers over our elected officials.

Government agencies need abolished. We don’t’ call them dictators in America. We call them government bureaucrats. But it’s all the same really. Just tyrants by another name, only worse. They are faceless, but will in the end, determine whether you live or die just like any other tyrant only you won’t know their names or ever see their faces.

JellyToast on July 18, 2011 at 11:29 PM

Impeach and remove her

georgej on July 19, 2011 at 1:45 AM

The proposals take effect automatically unless Congress, not only specifically votes them down, but Congress specifically votes them down (with 67 votes) and the President signs that bill. So, the default is now switched in a very important way.”

This is blatantly unconstitutional and will not stand a real test. A law can not force subsequent laws to fail without supper majorities. If it could, why stop at just a supper majority? Why not just pass a law that prohibits something permanently and declare that law immune to repeal?

elfman on July 19, 2011 at 11:22 AM