IPAB

Remember when Howard Dean was a rabble-rousing progressive, the one who ran for president railing against special interests? Remember when he insisted health care reform include a public insurance option, at one point suggesting that a plan without a government-run plan was “worthless”? Ah, good times… 

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The strengthened Independent Payment Advisory Board is a crucial part of the Affordable Care Act, which has naturally given it a prominent place in right-wing demonology. One underlying problem is that Medicare pays for all sorts of procedures of dubious value. IPAB is a board of experts who use medical research to propose cost savings. There have been previous attempts to rationalize what Medicare pays for, but they are usually overridden because Congress tends to be beholden to the narrow interests of medical device-makers and other providers.

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