Why Is IPAB M.I.A.?

By  – Spectator.org

If a government actuary conducts an analysis but the committee that is supposed to receive that analysis doesn’t exist, does the analysis make a sound?

The Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services may soon be asking himself that question. Under Obamacare he is required to determine by this Tuesday, April 30, whether the projected growth rate in Medicare for 2015 will exceed the targeted Medicare growth rate. If the projected growth rate exceeds the target, then Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is supposed to develop a proposal to bring Medicare’s expenditures back in line with the target.

The only problem is that IPAB doesn’t yet exist.

That probably won’t be the only deadline IPAB will miss.

If IPAB has to develop a proposal to reduce Medicare’s expenditures, it must submit a draft of that proposal to the Secretary of Health and Human Services by September 1 of this year. It then must submit a final proposal to Congress and the President by January 15, 2014. This process is supposed to be repeated every year under Obamacare.

IPAB is supposed to be composed of 15 members who will each serve six-year terms. They must be nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Since it is nearly May, that leaves only four months to meet the draft proposal deadline. In other words, four months for members to be nominated, for the Senate to hold hearings and confirmation votes, and then for IPAB to put together its proposal. If we assume the Administration is going to forego that deadline and instead shoot for January 15 of next year, that still only leaves just over eight months.  Read more


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