Elections have consequences, as several people have said. And sometimes those consequences come before the election, as politicians scramble to protect themselves from the wrath of the voters.
The House is expected to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board next week, putting pressure on the Senate to follow suit. While the bill has broad bipartisan support in the House, no Senate Democrats have so far signed onto repeal legislation despite coming under increasing pressure to do so.
The key phrase there is “so far.” They’re being pressured by the upcoming elections.
“We’re looking at it, let’s put it that way,” said Sen. Joe Machin (D-W.Va.). “We’ll weigh the pros and cons” if the bill hits the floor.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), another conservative Democrat in a tight race, said via a spokesman that she would take a ”hard look” at the proposal if it ever came before the Senate.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a liberal, also declined to rule out voting for repeal.
“I’m not going to answer a what-if question when it’s not at all clear what would come up,” he said.
McCaskill and Brown are reeling from a $3.5 million ad campaign by the conservative 60 Plus seniors’ lobby that also targets Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).
Of those listed above, Manchin wasn’t in the Senate when the vote on passing ObamaCare was taken; the rest all voted aye. Whether a vote on repealing IPAB makes up for that earlier vote is, of course, up to the voters in their states, but it’s clearly just cover-my-butt politicking.
As I wrote a while back on another website:
In other words, the IPAB — commonly called the Death Panel — was unelected, unaccountable, and its decisions were all but impossible to repeal. Sounds like the dream of hard-line lefties everywhere.
Medicare already refuses to cover quite a few treatments; it won’t cover eye exams, eyeglasses, or contacts unless you have cataracts. It doesn’t cover insulin for diabetics. If you’re under 65, it won’t even cover kidney dialysis for the first three months, which is both very expensive and vital for the survival of the patient. The IPAB would just make that worse, by putting those decisions in the hands of an unelected panel.
If you live in the states below, and you’re a conservative, call or e-mail your Senators and tell them that IPAB has got to go. I’ll put links to their “contact” page in their names.
- Florida: Senator Bill Nelson, (202) 224-5274
- Michigan: Senator Debbie Stabenow, (202) 224-4822
- Missouri: Senator Claire McCaskill, (202) 224-6154
- Montana: Senator Jon Tester, (202) 224-2644
- Ohio: Senator Sherrod Brown, (202) 224-2315
- West Virginia: Senator Joe Manchin, (202) 224-3954
Remember, these people work for you, and you have a chance to fire them later this year if you don’t like the way they’ve done their jobs.