House Bill Aims to Repeal Medicare Board
Jan. 25 — Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-Tenn.), reintroduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) established under the Affordable Care Act.
The main objection the bill’s sponsors have with the IPAB is that it will assume responsibility for reducing the rate of growth in Medicare without Congressional approval, Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), a cosponsor of the bill, said in a statement.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the IPAB will consist of 15 health experts, including healthcare providers, patient advocates, employers, and experts in health economics appointed by Congress and the president. The board’s primary responsibility will be to recommend improvements to Medicare, but it cannot eliminate benefits or decide what care Medicare beneficiaries can receive. It was created as a backstop in case Medicare per-capita spending benchmarks exceed a rate of growth of gross domestic product per capita plus 1 percentage point.
In a statement, Rep. Roe said he objects to what he says would be the board’s ability to intervene in the patient-physician relationship. The reintroduced bill, which has 83 original bipartisan cosponsors, was originally introduced as stand-alone legislation during the last Congress with more than 230 cosponsors, including 20 Democrats, and passed the House.
Publication Date: Friday, January 25, 2013