Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) said that the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee today passed H.R. 452 -- bipartisan legislation to repeal the healthcare law's cost-control board called the Independent Payment Advisory Board or IPAB. Lance is a member of the Health Subcommittee and a cosponsor of H.R. 452 to repeal the IPAB.
"I am pleased that the Health Subcommittee has worked in a bipartisan capacity to repeal of the President's Independent Payment Advisory Board," Lance said. "I have always opposed the creation of a board made up of 15 unelected officials with the power to make major cost-cutting decisions about Medicare with little oversight or accountability. I fear it will lead to the rationing of care for Medicare beneficiaries."
The Independent Payment Advisory Board, established by the healthcare reform law, would include 15 persons with the power to cut Medicare payments to doctors if spending grows too fast. In his proposed budget, President Obama plans to give even greater powers to the IPAB.
Republicans and Democrats have called for the repeal of the controversial panel. And last Friday 24 medical organizations led by neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists and OB-GYNs representing 350,000 physicians urged the Energy and Commerce health panel to report the repeal bill favorably.
"Most Americans agree that leaving Medicare payment decisions in the hands of an unelected, unaccountable board with minimal congressional oversight is bad public policy. Repealing the IPAB is the right thing to do," Lance concluded.
The IPAB repeal bill, H.R. 452, the "Medicare Decisions Accountability Act," is expected to be considered by the full U.S. House sometime in March.