Conservative Republicans talk endlessly about reining in the cost of entitlement programs like Medicare, but when it comes to specifics they suddenly become camera shy. Now, though, it's gotten even worse. Not only are they unwilling to propose actual, concrete cost-cutting measures for Medicare, they want to dismantle the ones that Democrats have already put in place. Sam Baker of The Hill reports that House Republicans are set to vote on a package of rules that would effectively hog-tie the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is charged with recommending cost-cutting measures for Medicare. Ed Kilgore comments acidly:
Having medagogued the IPAB--which Sarah Palin notoriously labeled a "death panel"--and the health care cost savings it was charged with securing not just by Obamacare but by earlier Republican legislation, it figures House Republicans would make this the first step to obstruct implementation of ACA, despite the massive hypocrisy involved.
What's really maddening is that IPAB--following the overall thrust of Obamacare--is designed to secure savings not just for Medicare but for the entire health care system by encouraging better medicine, not reductions in health coverage for seniors. It seems Republicans are only interested in health care cost containment measures or "entitlement reform" if it comes at the expense of beneficiaries.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the modern Republican Party.