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IPAB & “Denying Care”



The Controversial Obamacare Panel Has Drawn Harsh Criticism From House Democrats, Silence From Democrat Senators


IPAB Will ‘Do The Inevitable Dirty Work Of Denying Care’


MEDICAL GROUPS: “The IPAB reductions … could jeopardize both access for Medicare beneficiaries and even infrastructure for the entire health care system.” (Letter To Sen. Reid And Rep. Pelosi, 73 Medical Groups, 1/11/10)


“…the IPAB’s true end game, is harsher and more arbitrary price controls and eventually limits on the care patients are allowed to receive.” (Editorial, “Independent Payment Advisory Revolt,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/9/12)


·         “… the IPAB really does embody ObamaCare’s innermost values and beliefs—to wit, that health decisions are too important to leave to the people receiving the care (patients), the people providing the care (doctors and hospitals), the people paying for the care (taxpayers), or even the people who got the government involved in the first place (politicians).” (Editorial, “Independent Payment Advisory Revolt,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/9/12)


“As usual, the most dangerous parts of ObamaCare aren’t receiving the scrutiny they deserve … this remote, impersonal and unaccountable central committee [will] to do the inevitable dirty work of denying care.” (Editorial, “The Rationing Commission,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/15/09)


FMR WH OFFICIAL: IPAB Would Make America ‘Less Democratic,’ ‘Less Accountable To Voters’


PETER ORSZAG, Former OMB Director: “[B]uild a new set of rules and institutions … making them a bit less democratic … less accountable to voters.” “…we need to jettison the Civics 101 fairy tale about pure representative democracy and instead begin to build a new set of rules and institutions … relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic. … reduce the power of elected officials and therefore make our government somewhat less accountable to voters.” (Peter Orszag, “Too Much Of A Good Thing,” The New Republic, 9/14/11)


·         “Perhaps the most dramatic example of this idea is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), created as part of the recent health care reform legislation.” (Peter Orszag, “Too Much Of A Good Thing,” The New Republic, 9/14/11)


“Peter R. Orszag was President Obama’s first budget director, helping to shape … the health care legislation passed in early 2010.” (“Peter R. Orszag,” The New York Times, 8/12/10)


Repeal Supported By 20 House Dems, Zero Senate Dems


“…a bill from Tennessee Republican Phil Roe that would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, the new ObamaCare bureaucracy with vast powers to control health care and health markets starting next year. A straight majority of the House has joined Mr. Roe as co-sponsors—some 234 Members, including 20 Democrats.” (Editorial, “Independent Payment Advisory Revolt,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/9/12)


·         20 Democrats Have Co-Sponsored H.R.452, The Medicare Decisions Accountability Act Of 2011: Reps. Joe Baca (D-CA), John Barrow (D-GA), Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Timothy Bishop (D-NY), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Donna Christensen (D-VI), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Eddie Johnson (D-TX), Larry Kissell (D-NC), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), Mike Ross (D-AR), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), and Allyson Schwartz (D-PA). (H.R.452, Introduced 1/26/11)


REP. ALLYSON SCHWARTZ (D-PA): “I cannot condone the implementation of a flawed policy that will risk beneficiary access to care.” (Rep. Schwartz, “Schwartz: IPAB Is The Wrong Path Toward Medicare Payment Reform,” Press Release, 4/15/11)


REP. FRANK PALLONE (D-NJ): “I’ve never supported it… I’m opposed to independent commissions or outside groups playing a role other than on a recommendatory basis.” (“Dems Split On Health Payment Panel,” Politico, 7/10/11)


REP. LARRY KISSELL (D-NC): “We must leave as much of the decision making surrounding healthcare where it belongs – between patients and their doctors.” (Rep. Kissell, “This Week In Washington,” Press Release, 3/18/11)

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Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There



The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.

These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by 


… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.

Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of  rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry


In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.

To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.


But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.

But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…


The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.

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Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:




Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:

The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.


Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.

Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!

I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.

After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.

The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.

But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.

Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.

In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.

Your most humble and obedient,

Friedrich Trump

… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.

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