Fox Revives Health Care Rationing Myth


On Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor and former Republican Congressman John Shadegg falsely claimed that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created by the health care reform bill would "decide to lower reimbursement rates, essentially rationing care." In fact, the bill specifically prohibits the board from making "any recommendations to ration health care."

Shadegg Falsely Claims IPAB Decisions Will Lead To "Rationing Care"

Shadegg: IPAB Will "Lower Reimbursement Rates, Essentially Rationing Care." From the May 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

KILMEADE: [I]f comes down to it, where we are running out of money, we're going to have to make a decision and that decision might be rationing care which we were told was not going to happen.

SHADEGG: Unfortunately, that's right. What's in place in the law right now is -- and what the president's solution is -- is a board, called IPAB, which would decide to lower reimbursement rates, essentially rationing care. Many Republicans think that's not a good idea. We can restructure the program and continue to deliver the kind of services that Americans expect. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/18/11]

In Fact, IPAB Specifically Prohibited From Making "Any Recommendations To Ration Health Care"

Law Specifically Prohibits Advisory Board From Making "Any Recommendations To Ration Health Care ... Or Otherwise Restrict Benefits." As Media Matters has noted, the health care law specifically prohibits the Independent Payment Advisory Board from making "any recommendations to ration health care ... or otherwise restrict benefits." [Media Matters, 10/12/10; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, accessed, 4/21/11]

White House: "IPAB Is Specifically Prohibited By Law From Recommending Any Policies That Ration Care." In an April 20 blog post on the White House website, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle wrote that the "IPAB is specifically prohibited by law from recommending any policies that ration care, raise taxes, increase premiums or cost-sharing, restrict benefits or modify who is eligible for Medicare." [, 4/20/11]

Kaiser Family Foundation: Board Cannot "Ration Care, Increase Taxes, Change Medicare Benefits Or Eligibility, Increase Beneficiary Premiums And Cost-Sharing Requirement, Or Reduce Low Income Subsidies Under Part D." From the Kaiser Family Foundation's "Explaining Health Reform: Medicare and the New Independent Payment Advisory Board":

The Board is prohibited from submitting proposals that would ration care, increase taxes, change Medicare benefits or eligibility, increase beneficiary premiums and cost-sharing requirements, or reduce low-income subsidies under Part D. Prior to 2019, the Board is also prohibited from recommending changes in payments to providers and suppliers that are scheduled to receive a reduction in their payment updates in excess of a reduction due to productivity adjustments, as specified in the health reform law. The law establishes specific rules and deadlines for Congressional consideration of the Board's recommendations, and specific timelines and procedures for Congressional action on alternative proposals to achieve equivalent savings. [Kaiser Family Foundation, Explaining Health Reform: Medicare and the New Independent Payment Advisory Board, 5/10/10]

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Fox News Channel
Brian Kilmeade, John Shadegg
FOX & Friends
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