June 02, 2015
Medicare Legislation Including IPAB Repeal Moves Forward
On June 2, the House Committee on Ways and Means moved forward several bills targeting provisions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Among these was legislation to repeal the medical device tax and an ASA-supported bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an unelected and unaccountable board empowered to unilaterally cut Medicare Part B spending.
H.R. 1190, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2015, which would repeal IPAB, moved forward in the committee with a bipartisan vote of 31-8. All the Republican members of the committee, along with 7 Democrats voted in support of the legislation. ASA has strongly opposed the IPAB since its creation. The members of the Board have not yet been appointed. As part of its efforts to halt the IPAB, ASA co-founded the Physician IPAB Repeal Coalition and has consistently endorsed and supported efforts for repeal.
The medical device tax is a 2.3 percent tax on medical device manufacturers, which helps fund the Affordable Care Act. H.R. 160, the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2015, which would repeal this tax, passed along mostly party lines.
Both bills are scheduled to go to the House floor the week of June 15.