Sunday, May 20, 2018
News Roundup

Obama's health care board

The statement

Barack Obama "put in place a board that can tell people ultimately what treatments they're going to receive."

Mitt Romney, at Wednesday's debate

The ruling

The Affordable Care Act creates a new national board — with 15 members who are political appointees — to identify Medicare savings.

But it's forbidden from submitting "any recommendation to ration health care," as Section 3403 of the health care law states. It may not raise premiums for Medicare beneficiaries or increase deductibles, coinsurance or copayments. The board, called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, also cannot change who is eligible for Medicare, restrict benefits or make recommendations that would raise revenue.

What it can do is reduce how much the government pays health care providers for services, reduce payments to hospitals with very high rates of readmissions or recommend innovations that cut wasteful spending. Some argue that because the IPAB can reduce the money a doctor receives, this could lead to an indirect form of rationing.

But the board wouldn't make any health care decisions for individual Americans. Instead, it would make broad policy decisions that affect Medicare's overall cost.

Romney's statement is misleading. We rate his claim Mostly False.

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