Bipartisan Opposition Builds Against Medicare Panel in Healthcare Law

Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 11:45 AM

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A bill to kill another piece of the national healthcare law is drawing support from both parties in Congress. The repeal bill’s target — an independent panel to rein in Medicare spending, would ration coverage and spare lawmakers from politically difficult decisions, critics contend, according to The New York Times.

“Abdicating this responsibility, whether to insurance companies or to an unelected commission, undermines our ability to represent our constituents, including seniors and the disabled,” said Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, a Pennsylvania Democrat and House co-sponsor of a bill that Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, had introduced in the Senate.

Appointees to the 15-member board would be subject to Senate confirmation. But the White House hasn’t submitted any nominations, and bipartisan opposition to the whole concept is building.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, called the Medicare panel a “rationing board” and said it would “impose more price controls and more limitations on providers, which will end up cutting services to seniors.”

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