Last week, just before the Supreme Court ruled that Affordable Care Act is constitutional, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told the Eagle Daily Investor that what ObamaCare is trying to do “is Sovietize the American health care system.”
Today on CBS’s Face The Nation, Coburn said he believes ObamaCare will Sovietize the U.S. health care system because “it means the bureaucrats and politicians are in charge of your health care”:
HOST NORAH O’DONNELL: What did you mean by that, Sovietize?
COBURN: Well it means the bureaucrats and politicians are in charge of your health care and that’s exactly what this has done there’s not going to be individual choice. Remember the components of this bill. There’s an IPAB bill, the preventative services task force, that is going to mandate what care will be given and what care won’t be. There’s the innovation council that will approve or disapprove of any new innovation. We have three agencies that are totally going to take away the options of your freedom about your care and about what you and your physician decide is best for you. So Soviet style — what I’m saying is you’re going to have a bureaucracy … government bureaucracy is one of the reasons costs are out of control.
But Coburn really shouldn’t fear the Independent Payment Advisory Board — a commission that would make recommendations for lowering Medicare spending to Congress. IPAB’s authority only kicks in if health care spending increases beyond a specific threshold and the board is specifically prohibited from rationing. The Affordable Care Act’s language specifically states that IPAB’s recommendations cannot “include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums…increase Medicare beneficiary cost- sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and co- payments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.”
Moreover, the CBO found that getting rid of IPAB would increase the national deficit by $3.1 billion and grow health care expenditures. And the commission is actually tasked with delivering a comprehensive proposal to reduce excess cost growth in Medicare.