Tom Coburn, U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, who is also a physician, expresses concern in a new Wall Street Journal article (online, Dec. 3). Currently, the Senator frets over what he and co-author physician, Phil Roe, see as an outright dangerous provision of the Affordable Care Act. Chiefly, the (IPAB) Independent Payment Advisory Board.
Coburn and Roe contend, “This is why, on Thursday, several members of the House will file an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up Coons v. Lew. This lawsuit, filed by the Goldwater Institute on behalf of Dr. Eric Novack, an orthopedic surgeon, and Nick Coons, an Arizona businessman, challenges the constitutionality of IPAB.”
Additionally, in their WSJ article, Sen. Coburn and Dr. Roe claim the IPAB can actually regulate expenditures, ”by lowering physician reimbursements — thus driving more doctors away from treating Medicare patients — or by reducing the services eligible for reimbursement. Coburn and Rose describe this as “rationing care.”
Also, according to the WSJ report, “Groups as varied in their missions and beliefs as the American Medical Association, Easter Seals, National Right to Life, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Children’s Rare Disease Network are among the hundreds that have called for IPAB’s repeal.”