Congress sets its sights on bringing down IPAB

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Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

Congressional Republicans—and a few Democrats—are pressing the attack on the Independent Payment Advisory Board for Medicare, a part of the Affordable Care Act opposed by both PhRMA and the AMA.

In February, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee voted 17-5 to repeal IPAB, the primary cost-cutting mechanism of the Affordable Care Act. The panel's 15 Republicans were joined by two Democrats representing pharmacentric districts. A similar bill, authored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), is bottled up in the Senate.

In a post to The Hill's Congress Blog, the author of the House bill, Tennessee Republican Phil Roe, called IPAB a “dangerous rationing board.”

Starting in 2015, IPAB will be able to issue binding recommendations for cutting Medicare spending that will take effect unless Congress makes alternate cuts.

PhRMA and the AMA oppose the board. PhRMA SVP Matt Bennett says it “could enact sweeping Medicare changes without Congress' oversight… We believe IPAB will result in access problems for Medicare beneficiaries.”
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