Pro-Life Groups Celebrate House Victory Over ‘Death Panels’

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Pro-lifers aren’t just interested in preserving the lives of unborn children. They’re also committed to saving the lives of those on the opposite end of the spectrum: the very old.

That’s why pro-life organizations are celebrating passage of H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2017, in the U.S. House of Representatives and are pushing for the U.S. Senate to follow suit.

National Right to Life president Carol Tobias said their organization “Urges every Member of Congress to recognize the importance of repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board since Obamacare remains law. We urge you to ACT NOW to repeal this assault on our health care system and the sanctity of life and to reject the dangerous consolidation of unchecked government power which IPAB represents.”

Approximately three-fourths of House members voted to repeal so-called “death panel,” a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. The Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of 15 unelected officials, is tasked with reducing health care costs. They do this by limiting what treatments health care providers can offer patients. 

This means elderly patients who are covered under Medicare may be denied life-saving treatments based on cost-benefit analyses that could show treatment is too expensive in light of the patient’s life expectancy.

It goes further. The panel makes recommendations beyond Medicare spending for senior citizens. It also influences private health insurance for people of all ages. The Independent Payment Advisory Board is committed to reducing private insurance spending by denying health care even to people who are not using government dollars to pay for it. 

They do this by telling doctors what treatments they can and cannot give patients. If the doctor violates the recommendations, he or she will not be allowed to participate in major private insurance networks, which would put many physicians out of business.

“IPAB’s powers go well beyond some benign effort to control Medicare spending,” Tobias said, “IPAB would recommend drastic limits for the Department of Health and Human Services to impose on what Americans are allowed to spend out of their own funds to save their own lives and the lives of their families.”
 

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