ObamaCare’s cost-cutting board — memorably called a “death panel” by Sarah Palin — is facing growing opposition from Democrats who say it will harm people on Medicare.
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean drew attention to the board designed to limit Medicare cost growth when he called for its repeal in an op-ed late last month.
Dean was quickly criticized by supporters of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), who noted his ties to the healthcare industry as an adviser to a major D.C. lobbying firm.
But the former Vermont governor is not the only Democrat looking to kill the panel.
A wave of vulnerable Democrats over the past three months has signed on to bills repealing the board’s powers, including Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Reps. Ron Barber (Ariz.), Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Elizabeth Esty (Conn.).
All five are considered vulnerable in next year’s election, highlighting the stakes and the political angst surrounding the healthcare measure.
The four House Democrats faced criticism from their party in July after voting with Republicans to delay ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates — moves widely interpreted as political positioning ahead of 2014.
Two of the lawmakers explained their opposition by suggesting the board would limit care for Medicare patients.
But the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) blasted the four Democrats for “desperately trying to jump off the ObamaCare train.”
The cost-cutting board has been dogged with controversy over the last three years.