Posts Tagged ‘Howard Dean’
July 30th, 2013 at 3:57 pm
Howard Dean: ‘Repeal IPAB’

IPAB – aka, the Independent Payment Advisory Board – is one of the chief cost-containing elements of ObamaCare. As designed, a presidentially appointed panel of medical experts will convene to decide how much the government will pay for certain kinds of care, and who gets which treatments.

That means that “The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body,” writes Howard Dean in the Wall Street Journal. “By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.”

Dean, who is a licensed medical doctor and spent 11 years as the Democratic Governor of Vermont before running for president in 2004, knows from experience that IPAB is doomed to 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,” says Dean. “What ends up happening in these schemes (which many states including my home state of Vermont have implemented with virtually no long-term effect on costs) is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients. Most important, once again, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic.”

Dean goes on to call for a bipartisan repeal of IPAB, which is great to read and should be acted on. But the logic of including IPAB with ObamaCare’s structure makes perfect sense. Government-controlled health care is centrally-controlled and -planned health care.

If Dr. Dean wants a more patient-centered health care system he should be calling for repeal of ObamaCare in its entirety and greater deregulation of the health care industry. Empowering a new generation of medical entrepreneurs that can leverage advances in technology into boutique health care outlets would drive down costs, increase business opportunities and improve the quality of individualized care.

Dean is right to shudder at the care-killing cost of bureaucracy. Maybe one day he’ll discover the possibilities of a freer health care market too.

December 18th, 2009 at 12:56 pm
Krugman Grasping at Straws
Posted by Print

What’s Paul Krugman’s advice to liberals like MoveOn and Howard Dean upset over current health care negotiations in the Senate?  Pass the Bill.

It seems that liberals like Krugman want a bill just for the sake of passing a bill.   Politics and not principle appear to be his main motivation, which is strange coming from an economist and college professor.

Ideological purists like Howard Dean and MoveOn object to Harry Reid’s version of reform.  But why?  The current Senate bill supposedly lacks the government-run public option that liberals have been salivating over for the past year.  What remains from Senate negotiations is a hodgepodge of mandates, new regulations and higher taxes.

The one issue both sides of the aisle should agree on during the holidays is that the current health care bill is awful; it’s really really bad.

Conservatives and libertarians should hate the bill because it contains hundreds of billions in new taxes, an unconstitutional mandate for individual health insurance, an expensive employer mandate, costs over $2 trillion and it does nothing to bend the health care cost curve downward, among many other reasons.

Liberals should hate the bill because it (supposedly) contains no government-run public option, politically connected health care companies practically drafted the legislation, PhARMA supports it, socialist Senator Bernie Sanders doesn’t, it fails to cover 100% of the uninsured and it doesn’t bend the health care cost curve downward.

Dr. Krugman may attempt to use his perch at the New York Times to rally progressives toward a final health care push, but the ugly truth is that health care reform has become the product of Washington, D.C. politics.  That’s never a good thing.  President Obama rallied against Washington-style politics during his campaign but it appears that his bill and his political strategy have embraced the zero sum ultra-partisan approach that he derided so frequently in the past.

Dr. Krugman’s headline should have been “Kill this Bill.”