The Democrats' plan for rationed healthcare

Lanhee J. Chen and James Capretta:
The Affordable Care Act's Independent Payment Advisory Board has been so heavily criticized for being an unaccountable body with the power to effectively ration Medicare services that many congressional Democrats no longer support it. IPAB's bureaucratic cousin—the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation—deserves the same treatment.

Both institutions are in place to preserve rather than reform Medicare's traditional, and broken, fee-for-service Medicare program. They both also embrace the ObamaCare technocratic mind-set.

IPAB's 15 supposed experts (yet to be nominated by the Obama administration) are charged with governing a program with more than 50 million enrollees. The unstated yet clear agenda is to impose stricter price controls within Medicare. The long, sad history of price regulation—in Medicare and elsewhere around the world—reveals that these controls cut costs only by lowering quality and inducing non-price rationing (e.g., queues).
There is more.

Price controls means rationed healthcare, which will mean longer wait times to get treatment.  It creates negative incentives which will mean fewer doctors willing to participate.


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