Posted: July 15th, 2011 | By: Rob Christensen
The claim: Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers said that under the new health care law passed by Congress last year, a 15-member panel would have the power to deny a person’s surgery. She used the example of a person’s active 80-year-old mother who falls and breaks her hip and said that before the woman could have an operation, a physician would have to submit a request to a 15-person panel “to see whether or not that surgery can be done. Once that decision is made, the decision goes down. There is no oversight.”
“They are an independent panel working amongst themselves deciding your health care if you have Medicare,” Ellmers said a recent event in Rocky Mount. “That information will be passed on to your physician. Imagine sitting down with that woman, that 80-year-old who has been active her entire life and her family, and that physician having to walk in and say, ‘I can’t do your surgery. All I can do is put you on pain medication for the rest of your life.’ And you have no choice in the matter. That is what has been put in place.”
Is it true? No. Ellmers was referring to the 15-member Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). And by law, it specifically may not “include any recommendation to ration health care … or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.”
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