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Limbaugh Is Wrong Again?

11 May

During one of his radio shows late last month, the “leader” of the GOTP, Rush Limbaugh claimed the President was going to start cutting Medicare, start the “death panels”, and the rationing of health care, and this was why seniors in USA Today had been recently granted a waiver.

“Because it’s drastic. It’s rationing. And it wasn’t supposed to happen till 2013. But now, you know, it’s happening before the election. That’s not the way it was supposed to happen. It’s been elevated some — or sped up. So here comes a waiver for the seniors,” Limbaugh claimed.

He then went on to praise the Paul Ryan plan, stating, “There’s not one rules change under Paul Ryan.” And how under the President’s plan changes were drastic and immediate, “But under Obama, it’s immediate. And not to be repetitive and redundant, but to be repetitive and redundant, it was just yesterday that Obama granted another waiver to senior citizens to keep them away from his IPAB board, who could have denied them coverage for — just because they wanted to.”

Wow, really Rush? For someone who claims to be 99.9% accurate you sure get a lot a stuff not just wrong, but really wrong; but of course when you’re making stuff up it’s hard to keep truth and reality from lies and fables isn’t it Rush?

First off, the “waivers” you’re making such a big deal about had nothing to do with the new Health Care Law, and everything to do with existing Medicare Advantage.

In fact those “waivers” were made to help those seniors – millions of them enrolled in popular private insurance plans offered through Medicare – by awarding quality bonuses to hundreds of Medicare Advantage plans rated merely average. The $6.7 billion infusion could head off service cuts to the more than half the roughly 11 million Medicare Advantage enrollees are in plans rated average.

Not rationing at all Rushdie, but actually awarding quality bonuses. Let’s see, that means one of two things, first, you just don’t know what you’re talking about, or second, you’re a liar. Well, there’s a third option, which actually suits you best, that you don’t know what you’re talking about, and you’re a liar.

But, wait for it folks because Rush wasn’t through spinning his tale of woe and death panels in his effort to continually scare his ever aging audience, “Now, folks, you are going to be hearing — IPAB, I-P-A-B, Independent Payment Advisory Board — you’re going to be hearing a lot more about IPAB in the days and weeks ahead,” Rusty said. “And I want to tell you today, what IPAB is. IPAB is the death panels. That’s all you need to know, don’t doubt me. IPAB is where the rationing will take place.”

And he continued his bloviating, “These are the death panels. These are the people that are gonna decide who gets coverage and how much coverage will be paid for. Ergo the rationing. Congressional approval? There will be none. Whatever this board decides case by case happens by presidential fiat.

“They’re there. It’s one. There is one death panel. It is IPAB. The Independent Payment Advisory Board. Current Medicare recipients, individual cases, decided on by these 15 people. Two things. Will there be coverage or not? And if so, how much will they be paid.”

Once again Rusty, YOU”RE WRONG! The IPAB Is actually prohibited from rationing, and according to the New England Journal of Medicine the Affordable Care Act “Establishes Specific Target Growth Rates For Medicare And Charges The IPAB With Ensuring That Medicare Expenditures Stay Within These Limits.”

In its 26 May 2010 edition, NEJM states, “Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (now being referred to as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) create an Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to meet the need to oversee health care system costs. The legislation establishes specific target growth rates for Medicare and charges the IPAB with ensuring that Medicare expenditures stay within these limits. The IPAB must also make recommendations to Congress as to how to control health care costs more generally.

“The board is charged with developing specific detailed proposals to reduce per capita Medicare spending in years when spending is expected to exceed target levels, beginning with 2015. The DHHS must implement these proposals unless Congress adopts equally effective alternatives. The board is also charged with submitting to Congress annual detailed reports on health care costs, access, quality, and utilization. Finally, the IPAB must submit to Congress recommendations regarding ways of slowing the growth in private national health care expenditures.”

Gee, who to believe? Rusty Limbaugh, who dropped out of college after the first semester, unable to pass even ball room dancing, or the New England Journal of Medicine?

But hold on there’s additional expert commentary – far from what Rush ever gives. The Kaiser Family Foundation while attempting to explain the current health care reform has said, that the IPAB cannot “Ration Care, Increase Taxes, Change Medicare Benefits Or Eligibility, Increase Beneficiary Premiums And Cost-Sharing Requirement, Or Reduce Low Income Subsidies Under Part D.” From KFF’s “Explaining Health Reform: Medicare and the New Independent Payment Advisory Board”.

That sound like it can’t do what the fellow from Missouri is claiming. Once again who to believe? The guy who abused illegally obtained prescription drugs to the point he destroyed his own hearing, or the Kaiser Family Foundation?

Kaiser goes on the clarify that “… the Board is prohibited from submitting proposals that would ration care, increase taxes, change Medicare benefits or eligibility, increase beneficiary premiums and cost-sharing requirements, or reduce low-income subsidies under Part D. Prior to 2019, the Board is also prohibited from recommending changes in payments to providers and suppliers that are scheduled to receive a reduction in their payment updates in excess of a reduction due to productivity adjustments, as specified in the health reform law. The law establishes specific rules and deadlines for Congressional consideration of the Board’s recommendations, and specific timelines and procedures for Congressional action on alternative proposals to achieve equivalent savings.”

This is the part Limbaugh listeners never get. Rush tells you every day, “Don’t worry about looking stuff up, or checking into things, that’s what I’m here for”. But he isn’t telling the truth, he isn’t right 99.9% of the time, he’s frequently never right, or even close to right. As said earlier, Rush either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or he’s lying. Odds are it’s the latter.

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