If you want to get to the root of just about every problem we face in America today, just look to the “experts,” whose advice did much to get us here. Despite this, our bad case of “expertitis” shows no signs of abating. How else explain the drive to take decision making power on some of the most important issues of our day and turn it over to unelected, unaccountable bureaucratic boards of “experts?” That, apparently is what the Baucus version of Obamacare would do. From the story:
As Congress grapples with how to rein in the high cost of healthcare in America, the option of outsourcing hard decisions to a new, independent commission is gaining momentum. Backers say a commission with a mandate to improve America’s healthcare delivery system and rein in unsustainable costs could be a game-changer.
At a time when lawmakers are getting hammered by interest groups, it’s also a nod to the goal of fiscal discipline without having to specify where those cuts will come. Critics say it’s the latest sign that Congress can’t muster the political will to cut unsustainable costs. “In their current forms, none of the bills go far enough to reduce healthcare costs given the tremendous fiscal problems facing the country and the major role healthcare plays as a driver,” according to a report by the Committee for a Responsible Budget released Monday.
CRFB president Maya MacGuineas says the polarized, partisan climate on Capitol Hill isn’t conducive to making tough political decisions. “If politicians are going to spend so much of their energy beating up each other and pandering to interest groups, putting in a panel of experts to lend political cover makes these changes more likely to occur,” she says.
The Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare bill proposes a 15-member, independent Medicare Commission to present Congress with comprehensive reform proposals. In years when Medicare costs are projected to be unsustainable, these proposals take effect, unless Congress intervenes with an alternative that achieves the same level of savings. The commission will have the power to set reimbursement rates for doctors and hospitals in order to stop “excessively high increases in healthcare costs,” said Sen. Max Baucus (D) of Montana, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee and is one of three negotiators working out a compromise bill to take to the floor.
It will be a real game changer alright—it will mean loss of freedom and the continued erosion of democratic control of society. Whatever happened to statesmanship?