Misinformation on the IPAB

Merrill Goozner

First published 6/9/11 on Gooz News

David Brooks’ op-ed in the New York Times earlier this week attacking health care reform’s Independent Payment Advisory Board has set off a mini-firestorm in the liberal blogosphere. Brooks claimed IPAB would impose centralized planning over health care decision-making, while the alternative Republican plan — vouchers — would let consumers decide how much insurance and how much health care they should buy. Brooks went on to say the fight over IPAB will be a defining battle between the two ideologies contending for power in the U.S. — decentralized free-market choice and centralized planning.

Whew. That’s an awful lot of baggage to pile onto a board that the Congressional Budget Office says will pare all of $15.5 billion from overall Medicare spending between 2015 and 2019. For those keeping score, that compares to $400 to $500 billion in other Medicare cost reductions in the reform law.

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