Legislation to repeal the onerous Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) hit a milestone 218 bipartisan co-sponsors today. Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) became the 218th Member of Congress to cosponsor Congressman Phil Roe's (R-TN) legislation, 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 (PPACA). Achieving 218 co-sponsors is a significant step forward in the effort to repeal IPAB as the number represents a majority of the Members of the U.S. House Representatives.
Over the course of the last several months, ASA has worked diligently to educate Members of Congress about the many drawbacks of IPAB and the Board’s adverse affects on patient care.
ASA President Jerry Cohen, M.D., offered this appreciation for the 218 co-sponsors:
“I would like to express our gratitude to Representative Phil Roe for authoring H.R. 452 and to the 218 bipartisan members of the United States House of Representatives who have co-sponsored the bill. IPAB must be repealed before it has a chance to impose draconian cuts on the Medicare system and thereby dramatically alter the quality of care seniors receive through the system.”
ASA co-founded a coalition of twenty specialty physician organizations representing more than 350,000 physicians organized to lobby Congress to repeal the PPACA-created IPAB. 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. Currently, Medicare beneficiaries, advocates, physicians and other providers have the ability to work with Congress to improve the program. The implementation of the IPAB would remove Congress from the process with negative consequences for the nation’s Medicare system.