This evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the appropriations bill to fund continued government operations and averts a government shutdown. The Conference Report on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2012 (House Report 112-331) passed by a vote of 296-121. The bill will reduce spending by $31 billion over fiscal year 2011 spending levels. The bill will now move to the Senate for a vote and, if passed, to the President for signing.
Of particular interest to the physician community, the bill cut $10 million of the $15 million in allocated funds for the 2012 operations of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). ASA was encouraged by the funding cuts to IPAB as it reflects building bipartisan opposition to one of the health reform law’s more onerous provisions.
ASA continues its work with IPAB Repeal Coalition, a coalition co-founded by ASA, to advocate for the passage of H .R. 452, the “Medicare Decisions Act of 2011,” a bill designed to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
IPAB is an unaccountable and unelected board of bureaucrats with sweeping powers to mandate across-the-board or other targeted reductions in Medicare Part B payments. By design, IPAB usurps traditional Congressional authority over the Medicare program and would have the authority to override previous legislative decisions made by Congress.
Review the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee summary of the appropriations bill.