House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) issued the following statement after the House Committee on Ways and Means approved legislation to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) -- a group of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats empowered by the president's health care law to determine what to pay doctors to provide treatments and services under Medicare.
"The Committee on Ways and Means took an important step this morning in an ongoing and determined effort to protect the health care of America's seniors," said Chairman Price. "Under the president's health care law, a government board of bureaucrats will be able to determine what doctors are paid to provide treatments for seniors. When you deny payment for care you ultimately deny the care itself which makes this board a direct threat to the ability of America's seniors to receive quality, affordable care. We ought to do everything we can to ensure seniors and their physicians, not Washington, have control over health care decisions. I applaud the efforts of the Ways and Means Committee today and the Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this week to repeal this dangerous board as we work toward positive, patient centered solutions that will protect seniors' access to quality and affordable health and retirement security."
NOTE: At a House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing earlier this week on IPAB, witnesses responded to questioning about the effect of cuts in reimbursement rates and payments to physicians treating Medicare patients. Explaining how those cuts would damage access to care for patients, witnesses testified that physicians will be forced to opt out of Medicare or cap the number of Medicare patients they will see while likely decreasing the time they can spend with individual patients. In particular, Dr. David F. Penson, M.D., MPH, Vice Chair of Health Policy Council for the American Urological Association said that if you "decrease reimbursement to physicians at a certain point, physicians are going to close their doors and turn off the lights, simply because they can't make ends meet."