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 The law is dying the death of a thousand cuts with the individual mandate repealed, the HHS moving to protect religious freedom in the healthcare context instead of attacking it, and now, a stake through IPAB’s cold heart.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

Elections

Democrats Are Dumping Moderates

The activist base of the Democratic party is lurching left fast enough that everyone should pay attention. Activists matter because their turnout in low-turnout primaries and caucuses almost propelled leftist Bernie Sanders to victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Last month, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated New ... Read More
Culture

Questions for Al Franken

1)Al, as you were posting on social media a list of proposed questions for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, did it occur to you that your opinion on the matter is no more relevant than Harvey Weinstein’s? 2) Al, is it appropriate for a disgraced former U.S. senator to use the Twitter cognomen “U.S. ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Strzok by a Farce

An investigation is one of two things: a search for the truth, or a farce. The House is conducting a farce. That fact was on full display during ten hours of testimony by Peter Strzok, the logorrheic lawman who steered the FBI’s Clinton-emails and Trump–Russia probes. The principal question before the ... Read More
Film & TV

Stalin at the Movies

Toward the end of The Death of Stalin, two Communist Party bosses size up Joseph Stalin’s immediate successor, Georgy Malenkov. “Can we trust him?” one asks. “Can you ever really trust a weak man?” his comrade answers. Good question. Last week brought the news that the head of Shambhala ... Read More