The House Budget and Energy and Commerce Committees have scheduled back-to-back hearings on the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an unelected and unaccountable board created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). IPAB is empowered to make recommendations to cut spending in Medicare if its spending growth reaches certain measures. The bulk of any recommended spending reductions will almost certainly come in the form of payment cuts to Medicare providers.
The House Budget Committee hearing titled “Medicare’s Future: An Examination of the Independent Payment Advisory Board” is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be testifying in support of IPAB.
The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee IPAB hearing titled “IPAB: The Controversial Consequences for Medicare and Seniors” is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13. Secretary Sebelius is scheduled to testify at this hearing alongside a bipartisan group of lawmakers who are supporting H.R. 452, legislation that would repeal IPAB.
ASA is extremely troubled by the prospect of sweeping cuts to already unreasonably low Medicare payments for anesthesia services. Cuts by IPAB will have a disproportionate impact on anesthesia services because of the already low payment rates. For those reasons, ASA continues to support repeal of IPAB.