On February 24, 2012, as part of the ASA-coconvened IPAB Repeal Coalition, a joint letter signed by the ASA and 23 other medical organizations was distributed to the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health urging the committee’s consideration and passage of H.R. 452, the “Medicare Decisions Accountability Act.” H.R. 452 is legislation sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) that would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)-created Independent Payment Advisor Board (IPAB), an unaccountable and unelected board with sweeping powers to mandate across-the-board or other targeted reductions to Medicare payments.
In its support for H.R. 452, the joint letter addressed some of the many IPAB-related concerns including: unrealistic Medicare spending targets, a structure that prohibits membership by practicing physicians or otherwise employed physicians, a structure that forbids a majority membership of physicians (practicing or otherwise), the lack of a transparent process for hearings, debates, and meaningful stakeholder input, and the usurping of traditional Congressional oversight and execution of the Medicare program.
The letter summarizes these problems by explaining that “Leaving Medicare payment decisions in the hands of an unelected, unaccountable body with minimal congressional oversight will negatively affect timely access to quality health care for our country’s seniors and the disabled.”
Last December, H.R. 452 reached a milestone 218 co-sponsors, representing a majority of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill now has 224 co-sponsors.
ASA will continue to work build Congressional support for repeal of IPAB.
To review the full letter, please click here.