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POLITICS

Health-industry two-step: (1) Support bill with subsidies & cost controls, (2) Kill cost controls

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

The drug industry firmly backed ObamaCare, and even ran ads supporting Senators and Congressmen attacked for passing it. The doctor lobby, hospital lobby, and device lobby signed onto the bill, too, albeit with less enthusiasm.

Of course, the bill was loaded up with subsidies that directly benefit health-care providers, and mandates that drive more money to the health sector. The biggest downside for providers: the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which could impose cost controls on federal medical spending.

Guess who's now lobbying to eviscerate IPAB? The same providers who backed the bill in the first place. Politico reported on this a couple of months back, and now Huffington Post is giving space to medical-device lobbyist Dick Gephardt to criticize IPAB.

Some conservatives are cheered that a pro-ObamaCare liberal Democrat is attacking a piece of ObamaCare, but I'm not. These guys are like the banks that turn to Democrats for bailouts and Republicans to avoid any strings attached. IPAB might be a horrible idea, or might not -- but the industry guys lobbying against it are no free-market heroes.

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