Paul Ryan spoke directly to Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius today about Medicare reform. At the crux of his thesis: health care is missing patient choice, competition, and price signals. Meanwhile, a board of 15 unelected people are given the ability to underpay providers, which will cause providers to drop Medicare. This unelected group is called IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board.
As Ryan explains, there has to be a way for providers to compete for a beneficiary’s business, and thus provide the patient better service over time:
Giving seniors the choice, like we did with Part D, is a better way because what it does at the end of the day is it shows providers that, if you want to succeed, if you want to have business, you gotta outcompete other providers for that beneficiary’s business. So the nucleus of the program we’re trying to talk about is the patient, the beneficiary, not the IPAB. And there’s the big difference at the end of the day. We really believe, because of evidence, and reality, giving seniors more choices, or providers—doctors, providers, insurance companies, to compete against each other for that beneficiary’s business—that works.