House Votes to Scrap Medicare Payment Board
By Emily P. Walker — From medpagetoday.com March 22, 2012 545 1
The House of Representatives has voted 223-181 to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) for Medicare, and to restrict medical malpractice lawsuits.
The measure is known as H.R. 5, the Protecting Access to Healthcare Act, and is sponsored by Rep. Phil Gingrey, MD (R-Ga.). It would eliminate the IPAB, the 15-member independent panel created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Starting in 2015, the IPAB would be tasked with making binding recommendations on how to reduce Medicare spending. If Congress doesn't agree with the recommended cuts, it would be required to pass its own cuts of the same size.
But Republicans, along with some Democrats, oppose the concept, saying it would lead to rationing of medical care. The Obama Administration has noted that under the law, the IPAB is prohibited from recommending changes to Medicare that ration health care, restrict benefits, modify eligibility, increase cost-sharing, or raise premiums or revenues.