The one part of ObamaCare that must be repealed now

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With luck, Charlie Gard will celebrate his first birthday next month.

Hitting that milestone will require some luck for the young British boy, as he has a rare genetic disease called mitochondrial depletion syndrome.

The disease causes tissue degeneration and is typically fatal.

While there is currently no cure, there are some experimental treatments for Charlie’s symptoms that might prolong his life. That might give him and researchers enough time to find a more permanent solution. One thing stands in little Charlie’s way, though.

The British healthcare system.

{mosads}As his parents have spelled out on their website,, the Great Ormond Street Hospital refuses to treat the young lad because of the cost of the treatment. (Or as they very delicately put it “reconsideration for treatment of Charlie Gard is respectfully advocated.”)

Not only that, the hospital has taken Charlie’s parents to court to prevent them from taking him to the U.S. for treatment.

The issue has garnered so much attention, even President Trump weighed in on it.

The response, the product of U.K. socialized medicine, should put everyone on guard about the dangers of putting healthcare into the hands a cold, unfeeling government bureaucracy.

It’s one thing to say “we aren’t going to pay for this,” but it’s quite another thing to say, “and we refuse to let you try anywhere else.”

Almost sounds like a death panel. Gosh, if only someone had warned us that socialized medicine could lead to death panels

Folks on the left want to keep pushing us toward that kind of system.

It would be terrible for the world of medicine if they are successful, in that the American free market healthcare industry drives research and innovation for the rest of the world. The U.K.’s caretaker system does not.

Indeed, if Charlie’s parents are able to win their legal battle with their hospital, they will bring their son to America, not another country with socialized medicine.

True, the treatment Charlie would receive here would be very expensive. But the alternative to expensive, innovative treatments is not cheap, innovative treatments: it’s no treatments.

New technologies are the result of research, which is costly, and so comes at a premium. The more money researchers can make back on their hard work, the more they refine their process and the more affordable it becomes.

The best example of this in recent years is the cell phone, which used to be a toy of the rich and is now in (almost) everyone’s pocket in the world.

So how do we protect the American healthcare system so doctors can find cures that the Charlie Gard’s of the world will never get anywhere else?

Well, you probably expect me to say “repeal ObamaCare.”

We should at least repeal part of it, and that’s not just me talking. That’s most of everyone.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll in March, while only 20 percent of Americans think that all of ObamaCare should be replaced, a whopping 70 percent think that at least some of it should. As I spelled out in an op-ed for The Daily Caller, even 46 percent of registered Democrats agree with that.

And with increasing pressure on Congressional Republicans to generate a win on healthcare, and news outlets rapidly running out of pictures of Paul Ryan looking distraught, let me suggest where the GOP can start: ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

The IPAB was modeled after the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, or NICE — which is the most delightfully Orwellian term for a death panel they could come up with.

Former President Obama modeled IPAB to basically be his Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation of health policy.

The 15 board members of IPAB are unelected bureaucrats, unaccountable to Congress, the President, or the courts. (Checks and balances are so 18th century.)

IPAB can choose what will get reimbursed and what won’t, so if they deem a procedure is too expensive, they choose who lives and who dies. If they enforce price controls, they kill free market innovation.

That means in the future there are no experimental treatments in the U.S. for the Charlie Gard’s of the world.

IPAB’s recommendations have the force of law unless countered by a 2/3 majority in the Senate, which can only get involved if total Medicare expenditures stay within IPAB’s recommended levels, as Penny Young Nance spells out very well over on Fox News. The same people who denounced President Bush’s “imperial presidency” cheered at Obama’s fascistic power grabs like this.

And while IPAB is supposed to save Medicare money, which is a laudable goal, the Congressional Budget Office doesn’t even predict it will do that! Hidden in a CBO report here, you’ll find the confession: “under current law, the IPAB mechanism will not affect Medicare spending during the 2011-2021 period.”

Congress currently has a window of opportunity to repeal and destroy IPAB (no replacing on this one, please), but they have to act by August 15, or IPAB becomes permanent and we’ll be stuck with it forever.

Please email your members of Congress and tell them to get rid of this unaccountable, authoritarian tool of government overreach.

This is an easy political victory for Republicans, and a medical victory for everyone else.

Jared Whitley is political veteran with 15 years of experience in newspapers and Washington politics. He has served as press liaison for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and associate director in the White House under George W. Bush and has worked in the defense industry. He is an award-winning writer, having won honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Best of the West contest (2016). His works have also appeared in The Weekly Standard, The Daily Caller, The Salt Lake Tribune and Cracked.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Tags ACA Affordable Care Act Healthcare ObamaCare Orrin Hatch Paul Ryan repeal obamacare
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