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Obama backs IPAB ‘death panel’ again, despite bipartisan support for repeal

A Picture of Abby Coleman Abby Coleman

‘What this is, is a group of health care experts, doctors, et cetera, to figure out, how can we reduce the cost of care in the system overall?’

Matthew Boyle

DENVER — During Wednesday evening’s presidential debate, President Barack Obama repeated his support for the controversial Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) — often dubbed by conservatives as Obamacare’s “death panels” — in a back-and-forth with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“It — when Gov. Romney talks about this board, for example, unelected board that we’ve created, what this is, is a group of health care experts, doctors, et cetera, to figure out, how can we reduce the cost of care in the system overall?” Obama said.

“Now, so what this board does is basically identifies best practices and says, let’s use the purchasing power of Medicare and Medicaid to help to institutionalize all these good things that we do,” Obama added.

Obama was responding to an attack line by Romney. While decrying Obamacare overall, Romney said that one of the health care overhaul’s downsides is that “it puts in place an unelected board that’s going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have. I don’t like that idea.”

Currently, a piece of bipartisan legislation in the House that would repeal the IPAB. That legislation has the support of several liberal stalwarts in the House — including Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank.

The legislation’s sponsor, Tennessee Republican Rep. Phil Roe told TheDC that IPAB is the “real death panel.”

“This one is the real baby right here — and most people missed this,” Roe told TheDC back in 2011. “What everybody was talking about, when you saw Sarah Palin and so forth, what they were talking about these advanced directives where you sit down and there’s sort of mandatory counseling — and Medicare paid for it. This IPAB got missed — and it’s the real death panel.”

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