Democrats & Republicans Want ObamaCare’s IPAB Rationing Board Repealed

The Medicare Decisions Accountability Act (H.R. 452), legislation repealing ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), passed the House Energy & Commerce Committee today by voice vote with the support of several Democrats on the panel.  The measure, which will prevent the IPAB’s 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats from rationing health care for millions of Americans, will be considered by the House Ways & Means Committee Thursday. 

In advance of Thursday’s vote, the Ways & Means Health Subcommittee held a hearing today to examine the impact IPAB will have “on the Medicare program, its beneficiaries, and health care providers.”  Witnesses confirmed prior warnings from several health care organizations that the ObamaCare rationing panel – which has been given enormous power with no accountability – will have a disastrous impact on American seniors and their access to health care:

  • “It Is Likely that Access to Quality Care Will Be Reduced and Costs Will Be Shifted to Private Payers.” “The language of the Affordable Care Act so limits where the IPAB can make changes that all that is really left is reducing reimbursements to providers. … If circumstances bring about a mandated cut in reimbursement to providers, it is likely that access to quality care will be reduced and costs will be shifted to private payers, which only worsens an existing problem.” (Katy Beh Neas, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Easter Seals, 3/6/12)
  • “The IPAB Serves Only to Drive More Physicians Out of the Medicare Program…Further Deteriorating Access To Healthcare Services.” “If the IPAB has any accountability, it is only to the President who appointed its members, not to the Congress, and certainly not to the American people. The IPAB serves only to drive more physicians out of the Medicare program or limit their willingness to see and accept Medicare patients into their practice, further deteriorating access to healthcare services by this vulnerable population.” (David F. Penson, M.D., MPH, Vice Chair, Health Policy Council, American Urological Association, 3/6/12)
  • IPAB Will Make the Development of New Medical Technologies “More Uncertain, More Costly, and Less Attractive to New Investment.” “Yet IPAB’s entire scheme is far less transparent, rigorous, and open to challenge than the average private health plan. This will have implications for patients and providers. It will also have significant implications for those developing new medical technologies. It will make that process more uncertain, more costly, and less attractive to new investment.” (Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 3/6/12)
  • IPAB “Will Put More Systemic [Medicare] Payment Reforms Further Out of Reach.” “Owing to the way it is set up, IPAB is statutorily required to achieve its savings in the short term. This will mean IPAB can do little more than manipulate Medicare’s current price schedules and its coding process. … By ‘doubling down’ on the existing practice of simply whacking existing price schedules in order to slow spending – with no meaningful eye to how these changes impact long-term  incentives -- IPAB will put more systemic payment reforms further out of reach.” (Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 3/6/12)

House Republicans have fulfilled their pledge to fully repeal and defund ObamaCare, and will continue moving forward on legislation, like the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act, to dismantle the law piece by piece and protect American seniors and small business job creators from the fallout of the government takeover of health care

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