In last night's presidential debate, both candidates traded arguments about an advisory group called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which will be created to make recommendations about reducing the growth of Medicare spending.
The board, which would be seated in 2013, is one of a number of provisions in the Affordable Care Act designed to extend the solvency of Medicare from 2016 to 2024.
Recently, two Colorado congressmen wrote newspaper columns with nearly identical talking points that raised alarms about the future of Medicare and attacked a provision in the Affordable Care Act designed to reduce costs.
Remember "death panels" from the debates over health care reform? That's how opponents of national health care reform labeled a provision that would have compensated doctors for counseling their Medicare patients about end-of life decisions such as advanced directives and living wills. This reasonable and common-sense provision was removed from the Affordable Care Act because of the furor created by politically motivated misrepresentation.
Now we have the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and the "death panel" rhetoric has started up again.