WASHINGTON — Last week, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), an obstetrician, trotted out a well-worn canard about the Affordable Care Act: It will kill old people. Gingrey had trained his overheated rhetoric on one portion of the new law — the Independent Payment Advisory Board.
“Democrats like to picture us as pushing grandmother over the cliff or throwing someone under the bus. In either one of those scenarios, at least the senior has a chance to survive. But under this IPAB, where a bunch of bureaucrats decide whether you get care. . .I guarantee you . . .that the patient is going to die,” Gingrey declared.
Gingrey’s gambit was a bit desperate. He managed to remind voters that the plan he favors — a proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher program — has its own considerable political liabilities.
He also put the spotlight on what is arguably the smartest innovation in the new health care law — an independent panel of experts who will make decisions about cutting Medicare costs.