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Is rationing coming under Obamacare?

Published 10:10am Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Did I mention that while IPAB can decide what treatments we seniors will be permitted, the committee will not have the power to make any recommendations on ways to improve how Medicare operates or make any changes to update and modernize Medicare’s current and outdated fee-for-service payment structure or modify the incentives to recipients of the Medicare program?
So where will those “savings” come from under IPAB?  Under Obamacare, between the years 2013 and 2020, the law as written directs IPAB to achieve is savings goals through payment reductions primarily in the Part D prescription drug plan, Medicare Advantage plans and cuts to skilled nursing facility services.  That means the government is going to deny you some of your needed medicines, modify some of the services and cut benefits you can receive under your Medicare Advantage plan if you have one, or heaven forbid, if you’re in or going to a nursing facility.  And because IPAB is required to reduce overall spending AND achieve those cost savings through a limited number of Medicare’s program segments, the cuts to those areas listed above will have to be very deep. That ultimately means that health care access will be impacted.
IPAB is part of President Obama’s one-size-fits all approach to healthcare – and last I checked, we seniors are not all “the same size” in our health care needs.  Perhaps you may want to rethink this whole idea of IPAB and maybe Obamacare in general, because once the pieces are in place and operational, the pain will be real and the ability to “fix” the problems even more difficult.
Ron Kauffman is a geriatric consultant  on issues of aging in private practice in Henderson and Polk Counties.  He is the author of “Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease,” available at the Polk County Senior Center.  His podcasts can be heard weekly at You can reach him at his office at (828) 696-9799 or by email at

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