Examining the New Health Care Law for Patient Care
Could a board created under federal health care law come between you and your own doctor? Congressman John Carter, R-Round Rock, made such a claim about the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” in a recent letter. KUT’s Nathan Bernier spoke with Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman’s political fact checking team, PolitiFact Texas, about the claim.
Several readers forwarded to us a letter the congressman sent to constituents in July, in which he said that he is still committed to repealing Obamacare. He included this: ‘You may not be aware of one of the most frightening provisions in the president’s healthcare plan — the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board. … This board, comprised of 15 unelected, unaccountable people hand-picked by the president, will have the ability to come between you and your doctor in determining the best treatment options for you!’
The board is told under the law to recommend to Congress ways to reduce the rate of growth in per capita Medicare spending. Now, I read the relevant section. It bars recommendations that lead to rationing of health care or reductions in either benefits or eligibility. Generally, it might recommend that every discharged hospital patient get guidance on wound care, or that they drink plenty of cold water. … Significantly, the general goal is cost savings, not micro-management of patient care.
Head over to PolitiFact Texas to read more of their analysis of the claim and the law.