The Corner

Politics & Policy

IPAB “Death Panel” Euthanized

When Sarah Palin branded parts of Obamacare a “death panel,” she inflicted a deep political wound from which the program has never recovered.

In truth, there was no death panel in the existing law–but powerful voices wrote hopefully that the law could eventually include a specific mandate to impose healthcare rationing.

The most likely vehicle for rationing was the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a super-commission empowered to impose cuts in Medicare payments to doctors–even over a presidential veto–if projected cost increases passed a certain point.

That time was drawing nigh, and under different political leadership, IPAB’s commissioners would surely have been appointed and its unconstitutional (in my view) machinations commenced. Indeed, had Hillary Clinton become POTUS with Democrats in firm control of Congress, it is possible that the board would have been empowered to commence rationing as many in the technocratic class wanted.

Instead, the recent two-year budget bill killed it dead. That’s a welcome blow against the emerging technocracy–a bipartisan success for which all involved deserve applause. 

Where does that leave Obamacare? The law is dying the death of a thousand cuts with the individual mandate repealed, the HHS moving to protect religious freedom in the healthcare context instead of attacking it, and now, a stake through IPAB’s cold heart.

Somewhere in Alaska, Sarah Palin is smiling.

Most Popular

Biden as Paradox

It is now conventional punditry that should Joe Biden win in November, his vice president, in 1944-style, will sooner rather than later become president. Biden, to reboot and secure the identity-politics base, thought he had to discriminate by sex and race in advance by selecting his vice president. But given ... Read More

Biden as Paradox

It is now conventional punditry that should Joe Biden win in November, his vice president, in 1944-style, will sooner rather than later become president. Biden, to reboot and secure the identity-politics base, thought he had to discriminate by sex and race in advance by selecting his vice president. But given ... Read More
U.S.

What Happened to Social Distancing?

Cardenas Ortiz-Sandoval’s mother, Guadalupe, died last month. Cardenas, 22, helped to plan her funeral. She was told by mortuary officials that the state of California would not allow more than ten people to attend her mother’s graveside service. Some family members were forced to stay home. Lifelong friends ... Read More
U.S.

What Happened to Social Distancing?

Cardenas Ortiz-Sandoval’s mother, Guadalupe, died last month. Cardenas, 22, helped to plan her funeral. She was told by mortuary officials that the state of California would not allow more than ten people to attend her mother’s graveside service. Some family members were forced to stay home. Lifelong friends ... Read More
U.S.

The Lockdowns Are Now a Scandal

A boy in my neighborhood committed suicide a few weeks ago. It’s possible that the teen’s preexisting problems were exacerbated by the seclusion, tediousness, and helplessness of a national lockdown. Maybe not. I didn’t really know him. I do know that locals were forced to pay respects by sitting parked ... Read More
U.S.

The Lockdowns Are Now a Scandal

A boy in my neighborhood committed suicide a few weeks ago. It’s possible that the teen’s preexisting problems were exacerbated by the seclusion, tediousness, and helplessness of a national lockdown. Maybe not. I didn’t really know him. I do know that locals were forced to pay respects by sitting parked ... Read More