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Monday, June 6, 2011

Roger Wicker is a Liar

Bold charge, huh?  Now, admittedly, I am a lover of specific language, so I tend to nitpick with words to get the exact message across.  I think, even with allowances for grammar and word use, the term "lies" does apply to Roger Wicker's recent newsletter.

Here is proof, in his own words. (or at least his newsletter, with lies underlined)



The Next Step in Repealing Obamacare

All-Powerful Board Would Make Health Decisions with No Right of Appeal
As details continue to emerge about last year’s Obamacare legislation, more and more Americans are coming to understand the troubling provisions of this ill-advised law. One of the most blatant examples is the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a 15-member presidentially-appointed board charged specifically with cutting Medicare. This provision in the so-called Patient and Protection Affordability Act would ultimately limit access to health care for our seniors.
Why this is a lie :  The IPAB is charged with making suggestions, which congress can overrule, to control the rising costs of medicare.  There will be no "Health Decisions" as that is between a patient and their doctor.  It will be decisions on better care and lower costs - probably designed to get best results first to reduce return visits for the same ailment. The membership is subject to the same Senate Confirmation as any presidential appointee. "IPAB is specifically prohibited by law from recommending any policies that ration care, raise taxes, increase premiums or cost-sharing, restrict benefits or modify who is eligible for Medicare."  So, five or six lies in the first paragraph.
IPAB is a classic illustration of how some in Washington would rather give more power to a board of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats than to empower the American people themselves. Allowing this board to make substantial changes to Medicare, without being answerable to seniors and their elected officials, is reckless.
Again, Congress can override, so they are answerable.
‘One-Size-Fits-All’ Decision-Making Limits Access to Care 
 Under the health care law, IPAB is required to develop proposals targeted at reducing Medicare spending.  This is the board’s only responsibility, and the only cuts the board is able to make are to providers’ reimbursements. Imposing harsh price controls and more provider limitations will only punish the patient.  Bureaucrats should not decide what treatment is best for our seniors.
The paragraph is mostly just unsubstantiated conjecture.  That last line in something I can agree with, however, that is what happens now.  Insurance Companies do, currently, have a board that will say what they will and will not pay for.  It doesn't matter if the doctor says the treatment is the only solution - if the board says no, then its either out of pocket or die.  The IPAB may make suggestions based on data that shows one treatment much more effective and less costly in the long run, but that would just be the smart thing to do.
Before the passage of the health care law, seventy-four health advocacy organizations wrote to Majority Leader Harry Reid and then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi stating, “Together, we agree that IPAB is an ill-advised provision for the future of Medicare.  We favor responsible containment of rising health care costs, but we urge you to strongly oppose the inclusion of the Independent Payment Advisory Board in final health care reform legislation.”  The Democrat leadership refused to listen.
Yeah, they lobbied to not have an independent organization that would scrutinize their costs and effectiveness.  They want someone they can "lobby" in control of information that is delivered to the public.  Remember, these are For Profit companies that are seeing a Cost Control board set up that may just figure out that most of the cost is coming from the CEO's golden parachute instead of actual operating expenses.
IPAB will not make recommendations; it will make law.  To further complicate matters, the board’s decisions will not be subject to challenge in the court system. In effect, the board’s recommendations will be final and the American people will essentially have no way to object.
Health Care Bureaucrats Elimination Act
 "IPAB would recommend policies to Congress to help Medicare provide better care at lower costs.  This could include ideas on coordinating care, getting rid of waste in the system, incentivizing best practices, and prioritizing primary care."  Again, outright, fact-ignoring lies. Easily to fact-check.  Wicker and his cronies are counting on people NOT PAYING ATTENTION.
President Obama has made it clear that that he has no intention of eliminating IPAB. Opposition to this board is bi-partisan.  During debate on Obamacare, seventy-two House Democrats joined their Republican colleagues in sending a letter to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposing IPAB, and last September, fourteen House Democrats voted to repeal the board.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Health Care Bureaucrats Elimination Act.  I am a cosponsor of this important legislation, which would repeal IPAB and ensure Washington bureaucrats do not come between patients and their doctors.  Seniors deserve more health care options, not limits to needed medical care.
But they (the GOP) want to tirelessly work to ENSURE that Private Insurance Company bureaucrats can - and do - come between patients and their doctors.
Working to Repeal and Replace the Health Care Law
Until we are able to pass a full repeal of the President’s health care law, the best approach is to continue to repeal the most harmful provisions. A strong bi-partisan group in the Senate was successful earlier this year in repealing the burdensome 1099 tax reporting mandate which would have stifled job creation. The next important step is to eliminate IPAB.  Medicare is an important program for seniors in Mississippi, and I will continue working to put it on sound fiscal footing and repeal and replace the health care law.
The 1099 tax reporting requirement for non-employee contractors was a bit much.  However, replacing Medicare with a voucher program is a horrible idea.  What board of unelected bureaucrats would set the value of the vouchers?  What makes anyone think Seniors with pre-existing conditions would even be able to find a company to accept them?

The newsletter piece sounds reasonable, if you don't think about it.  Wicker is a liar and puts the interests of For Profit, Private Corporations over the interests of average Citizens of Mississippi.

Read This for a non-partisan review of the IPAB at the McDermott Will & Emery Law Firm's website.


Mr. Wicker - how about getting on Job Creation and stop it with the stupid Right Wing Social Engineering crap?!?!

- a letter to Wicker from Walls, MS and an article on Crooks and Liars (like Wicker)
The Republicans are the party of believing we don't need any regulations and that industry can regulate themselves, until something like [The Gulf Oil Spill] happens, and then they expect the government that they didn't want to function to fix everything for us.