I hope we’ll be hearing a lot more about this from Allyson Schwartz’s primary challenger, Nate Kleinman.
Schwartz has been one of the loudest opponents of any effort to reduce the price of medical care, and now it looks like she will vote with the House Republicans to kill IPAB – the most important cost-control provision in the Affordable Care Act.
There are two competing ways to reduce Medicare costs. Republicans want to do it by turning Medicare into a voucher program – they want to give you a coupon that pays for less and less care over time, without doing anything to try to bring down the actual price of medical treatment.
That is the reason our health care costs are so high – because our doctors and hospitals just charge much higher prices than in other countries.
Obama and most Democrats want to use Medicare’s monopsony power (like a monopoly, but on the buyer side) to push down the actual prices – paying less to providers. The Affordable Care Act created an Independent Payment Advisory Board tasked with lowering Medicare payments to providers without cutting benefits.
Obviously health care providers, like the big hospitals in Schwartz’s district, hate this idea, and they’ve enlisted all Republicans and a handful of Democrats to kill it, and pave the way for something like a RyanCare plan that does not try to bring down prices, and just gives you less and less benefits over time.
Allyson Schwartz says she opposes RyanCare, but by voting with the Republicans to kill IPAB, she makes it much more likely that we get ever-shrinking vouchers instead of real cost control.