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U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks after being introduced by Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney as his vice-presidential running mate during a campaign event at the retired battleship USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia  August 11, 20
Paul Ryan, putting the profit incentive back in death panels.
Paul Ryan hasn't actually uttered the words "death panel," probably because he doesn't want to sound like 2008's Republican vice presidential candidate, but he's fearmongering on death panels, just the same.
Ryan’s attacks on the health law’s Independent Payment Advisory Board — a centerpiece of his campaign event with Mitt Romney in Manchester, N. H., Monday — are ripped from the pages of the playbook Republicans used during the health reform debate. Sarah Palin stirred up the opposition by warning of “death panels,” and other Republicans charged that the entire law would put government bureaucrats between patients and their doctors.

Now, Ryan is bringing that rhetoric back by warning voters of the dangers of the “rationing board.” [...]

Obama “puts this new board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats that he’s about to appoint, who are required to cut Medicare every year in ways that will clearly lead to denied care for current seniors,” Ryan said at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Monday.

Clearly, Paul Ryan believes insurance companies should be in charge of rationing care to seniors, not a board that is prohibited by law from denying or rationing health care. The IPAB's job is to determine procedures and treatments that are both health effective and cost effective. The board, by the way, hasn't even been convened yet, nor has President Obama nominated anyone. Since the board members have to be approved by the senate, that's not going to happen anytime soon.

But what Ryan and Romney want to do, of course, is privatize Medicare. They want insurance company bureaucrats to be in charge of making the decisions about what treatment seniors do or do not get, and how much they have to pay for it. Their vouchers aren't going to stretch very far in a health insurance system that won't have any limits on it. After all, if a Romney/Ryan team repeals the Affordable Care Act, health insurers will be free to charge as much as they want and to deny coverage to anyone they don't want.

There's your death panel.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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