New Obama nominee for Social Security board a big fan of rationing

posted at 12:45 pm on November 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama’s appointment of Donald Berwick as the head of Medicare and Medicaid became so unpopular — even among moderate Senate Democrats — that Obama ended up making Berwick a recess appointment even before Berwick had submitted a full questionnaire to the Senate.  That might happen once again with Obama’s latest entitlement program appointment, Henry J. Aaron, picked to serve on the Social Security Advisory Board.  The Brookings Institution economist shares a lot in common with Berwick, including a love of the British system of rationing health care, reports the Weekly Standard, which finds this from Aaron in the 1980s:

“If Americans are serious about curbing medical costs, they’ll have to face up to a much tougher issue than merely cutting waste, says Brookings Institution economist Henry J. Aaron.

“They’ll have to do what the British have done: ration some types of costly medical care — which means turning away patients from proven treatments.

“Cutting billions worth of ‘pure waste’ — in needless hospitalization, surplus beds, Cadillac-model machinery and superfluous tests — would only temporarily slow the growth in health spending, which now tops 10 percent a year, Aaron told a symposium sponsored by the American Academy of Physician Assistants last week in Reston.

Think that was long ago enough for Aaron to have changed his mind?  Think again.  Not only does Aaron like the idea of British care rationing, he’s also a big fan of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a topic we have covered many times at Hot Air.  ObamaCare sets up the IPAB as a body unaccountable to Congress while making decisions on health care that patients cannot reverse within the ObamaCare system.  In fact, once the IPAB has made a ruling on whether to support a treatment plan, the decision has to be reversed by statute under ObamaCare, meaning that it takes a majority in each chamber of Congress and the signature of the President.

That’s not good enough for Aaron, however.  Calling the IPAB “Congress’ Good Deed,” Aaron wants it strengthened, not made more accountable:

Aaron praises the IPAB, although he does admit to having a few problems with it. He thinks that its largely unchecked power isn’t unchecked enough, as the board should be able to order payment reductions for other aspects of medical care that have so far escaped its statutory grant of power. He writes,

“I admit that the provisions governing the IPAB are less than optimal. For example, recommendations regarding payments to acute and long-term care hospitals, hospices and inpatient rehabilitation and psychiatric facilities are off-limits until 2020; and those to clinical laboratories are off-limits until 2016. These politically motivated restrictions should be repealed as early as possible so the IPAB’s recommendations can comprehend the delivery system as a whole.”

Aaron says that “the survival and strengthening of the IPAB is of critical importance.”

In other words, Aaron shares Obama’s view that government exists to make decisions for people and that the rule of technocrats should not be challenged.  Aaron, like Berwick and Obama, want to make government even less accountable than Democrats proposed and passed in the ObamaCare bill, which put technocrat rule into orbit already.

Aaron would be one voice on the Social Security Advisory Board, and wouldn’t have direct impact on CMS or the IPAB.  That makes his nomination somewhat less dangerous than that of Berwick.  However, adding more elitists who push to demolish the pillars of self-government is exactly opposite of what this nation needs now.  Republicans in the Senate should oppose Aaron’s confirmation.

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Does it matter if Congress opposes… well, anything Barack Obama wants to do? He just does an end run around them, gets what he wants, and they stand there with their thumbs up their fundaments.

RebeccaH on November 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM

““They’ll have to do what the British have done: ration some types of costly medical care — which means turning away patients from proven treatments…”

“Sarah Palin to the whit courtesy phone…

… Ms. Palin, white courtesy phone, please.”

Seven Percent Solution on November 17, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Death Panels.

portlandon on November 17, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Obama epitomizes the 1%

tomg51 on November 17, 2011 at 12:55 PM

So can we assume that he will forego the gold plated fed health care and go with the peon health care?

Perspiring minds want to know.

platypus on November 17, 2011 at 12:57 PM

His confirmation is a slam-dunk, then.

SlaveDog on November 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM

It’s going to take a hundred years to undo the damage Obama has inflicted on this country.

Skandia Recluse on November 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Death panels.

Mirimichi on November 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Republicans in the Senate should oppose Aaron’s confirmation.

I keep thinking about the Kagan SC nomination.

a capella on November 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Beyond death panels.

Only those who are loyal to the cause, have sworn allegiance to the Fuehrer The One, will be able to receive life-saving medical treatment. [And it helps if you are a donor or bundler for Obama.]

The rest of us?

We will get to experience first hand “barefoot doctors,” Mao’s “solution” to costly medical care. A force of peasant workers trained in the basics of medicine…and fully indoctrinated in Maoism. And a Little Red Book with your first clinic visit.

coldwarrior on November 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM

But don’t you dare call them death panels.

rbj on November 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Death Panels.

portlandon on November 17, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Oops. You beat me.

Mirimichi on November 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Does it matter if Congress opposes… well, anything Barack Obama wants to do? He just does an end run around them, gets what he wants, and they stand there with their thumbs up their fundaments.

RebeccaH on November 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM

THIS

+100

cmsinaz on November 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Oops. You beat me.

Mirimichi on November 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

It needed to be said twice.

Death Panels.

Okay, three times.

portlandon on November 17, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Does he love Great Britain’s HC system allowing doctors to place do not resuscitate orders on patients despite a patient or family members wishes? Because I think that is a killer idea myself.

NotCoach on November 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

I am happy with that. Maybe it will lead to SS being gotten rid of all together.

astonerii on November 17, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Congress, their families, and unions would somehow become exempt.

These people are putting in place all the necessary parts for a civi…uh…a violent domestic conflict between American citizens.

Bishop on November 17, 2011 at 1:14 PM

The Left’s love of Eugenics making a comeback?

Wood Dragon on November 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM

just like odumbo… a socialist, communist. Odumbo will stop at nothing to destroy our society. He will get real protests when we occupy the government in DC

ultracon on November 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Absolute Power of Life and Death.
Absolute Power corrupts absolutely.

Feels good don’t it?

Time to round these people up, new Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD members are needed, only this time for liberals.

Meanwhile the Hitler Youth (i.e Power of Vitality) has the workers walking around the building 2 times a day now.

orbitalair on November 17, 2011 at 1:28 PM

“In fact, once the IPAB has made a ruling on whether to support a treatment plan, the decision has to be reversed by statute under ObamaCare, meaning that it takes a majority in each chamber of Congress and the signature of the President…”

“I’m sorry…

… I see that on your admission form that you listed yourself as a registered Republican.”

Seven Percent Solution on November 17, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Since Henry J. Aaron like[s] the idea of British care rationing, he’s also a big fan of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), let’s perform proof-of-concept testing, to see how things work …

… let’s force Henry J. Aaron and all of his family, all living ancestors and decendants, no exceptions of any sort, regardless of financial status, to live under Aaron’s ideas for health care … for 10 years.

Then we will examine the results, and consider whether Aaron’s ideas and plans for the rest of us have any merit.

Arbalest on November 17, 2011 at 1:31 PM

” ObamaCare sets up the IPAB as a body unaccountable to Congress while making decisions on health care that patients cannot reverse within the ObamaCare system.”

I was wondering how they were going to do it…

… now we know.

Seven Percent Solution on November 17, 2011 at 1:31 PM

We need a new Con Amendment.
Congress shall be subject to all Federal Laws and Regulations.

Nathan_OH on November 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM

What?

No witty baseball comments using Aaron’s name and Obamacare together?

VibrioCocci on November 17, 2011 at 1:43 PM

The Left’s love of Eugenics making a comeback?

Wood Dragon on November 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Their love for Margaret Sanger has never waned.

iurockhead on November 17, 2011 at 1:47 PM

We need a new Con Amendment.
Congress shall be subject to all Federal Laws and Regulations.

Nathan_OH on November 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM

This.

iurockhead on November 17, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Aaron would be one voice on the Social Security Advisory Board, and wouldn’t have direct impact on CMS or the IPAB. That makes his nomination somewhat less dangerous than that of Berwick. However, adding more elitists who push to demolish the pillars of self-government is exactly opposite of what this nation needs now. Republicans in the Senate should oppose Aaron’s confirmation.

Especially when it’s the demolition of the pillars of self-government that is the problem with SocSecurity.

I am happy with that. Maybe it will lead to SS being gotten rid of all together.

astonerii on November 17, 2011 at 1:12 PM

More likely, SocSecurity will turn into an explicit wealth-transfer program with little-to-no relationship between “contributions” and “benefits”.

Steve Eggleston on November 17, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Isn’t it wonderful that when you ‘pay into the system’ you then have your well-being decided for by unaccountable bureaucrats? Such a splendiferous outcome for all those people who just tout SSA and want what they paid into it… well you will GET THAT all right… you just have to justify your existence to said bureaucrats.

Don’t retire and you don’t have this problem… or make for your own retirement and don’t depend on government. Because when you DO depend on government, it controls YOU.

ajacksonian on November 17, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Just more of the ‘ruling elite’ crap.

GarandFan on November 17, 2011 at 2:10 PM

What death panels? Oh, those death panels? Uh, these aren’t the death panels you’re looking for.

hadsil on November 17, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Nathan_OH on November 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM

add in for a decade prior to implementation and you have it exactly correct.

chemman on November 17, 2011 at 3:28 PM

When I started college, this was required reading in Economics 101 (link is to an update of their book).

Looks like he’s never changed his mind.

Cost control, emphasis on the control.

DrSteve on November 17, 2011 at 5:15 PM

That this turd shares a name with this guy is beyond disturbing. It is just plain wrong.

hillbillyjim on November 17, 2011 at 5:36 PM

If they had cut breast exams and PSA testing, both my wife’s breast cancer and my prostate cancer would have gone undetected. Think of the money it would have saved!

Dandapani on November 17, 2011 at 9:30 PM