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Democrats Supporting Bills to Repeal Power of Obamacare Death Panels

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/8/13 11:31 AM

National

The death panels that are a part of Obamacare are unraveling further — as even some Democrats are signing on to sponsor bills in Congress that would take away the power of the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

As The Hill reports:

A wave of vulnerable Democrats over the past three months has signed on to bills repealing the board’s powers, including Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Reps. Ron Barber (Ariz.), Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Elizabeth Esty (Conn.).

All five are considered vulnerable in next year’s elections, highlighting the stakes and the political angst surrounding the healthcare measure.

The four House Democrats faced criticism from their party in July after voting with Republicans to delay ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates — moves widely interpreted as political positioning ahead of 2014.

Two of the lawmakers explained their opposition by suggesting the board would limit care for Medicare patients.

But the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) blasted the four Democrats for “desperately trying to jump off the ObamaCare train.”

The cost-cutting board has been dogged with controversy over the last three years.

Major healthcare interests like the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the pharmaceutical lobby have supported IPAB repeal, saying the panel would cut providers’ pay arbitrarily.

Public awareness of the board shot up last year when Palin called it a “death panel,” connecting the IPAB to her previous attacks on a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning in the Affordable Care Act.

Other Democrats are seeing the light on the IPAB after Howard Dean drew national attention when he came out against the death panels.

When Congress debated Obamacare, pro-life advocates and Republicans like Sarah Palin were castigated for claiming the government-run health care program would include death panels that would ration health care treatment.

Dean has essentially admitted they were right and is calling for the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Monday he called the IPAB “essentially a health-care rationing body” that he believes will fail.

“There does have to be control of costs in our health-care system. However, rate setting — the essential mechanism of the IPAB — has a 40-year track record of failure,” Dean wrote.