This week, H.R. 452, the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act of 2011, was voted out of committee and is expected to be brought to the House floor for a vote within the coming weeks.
The bill will repeal a key component of the President's Health Care Law, the Independent Panel Advisory Board (IPAB). Touted as a "cost-cutting measure" by the Administration, this portion of the health care law empowers this panel, comprised of 15 bureaucrats, to determine what services Medicare patients receive. Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25), a co-sponsor of the bill, released the following statement regarding the bill's passage out of committee.
"IPAB is an egregious overreach of the Federal government and is a violation of privacy and patient rights," said Rep. Buerkle.
"As a nurse and health care attorney, I took care of hundreds of patients and know that health care choices belong in the hands of patients, their family, and their doctor. It is not for the government, and certainly not for unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, to be involved in personal health care decisions. The repeal of IPAB is essential in ensuring that Medicare patients and their access to health care is protected."
H.R. 452 was passed out of the House Energy and Commerce and House Ways and Means Committees. The bill now awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives.