Today, Congressman Marlin Stutzman (IN-03) voted to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) that was created by President Obama's health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the "Protecting Access to Healthcare (PATH) Act," by a vote of 223-181.
"Fifteen unelected bureaucrats have no business getting between seniors and their doctors but that's exactly what IPAB would do," said Stutzman. "Patients and their physicians should decide what care they should seek and how they will pay for it. Likewise, members of Congress, who are held accountable every two years, should oversee Medicare. Unfortunately, IPAB is a government control panel dedicated to the sole task of cutting funding for medical services under Medicare. My colleagues and I aren't going to sit idly by while bureaucrats impose price controls that will slash seniors' access to healthcare. Today, we took an important step to eliminate this unaccountable government panel. If the Senate is serious about protecting seniors, they should pass this legislation immediately."
Two years ago, President Obama's health care law created IPAB and tasked it with making recommendations to cut per capita Medicare spending in accordance with economic growth targets, beginning in 2014. Congress would have limited ability to override the board's proposed cuts and any Congressional action could be vetoed by the President.
Earlier this week, Congressman Stutzman and his colleagues on the House Budget Committee put forward a set of bipartisan solutions to preserve the Medicare guarantee for those at or near retirement, put patients and doctors back in control, and establish a premium assistance program to provide support for low-income seniors. By relying on choice and competition instead of restrictive government panels, the Republican budget offers a solvent future for Medicare, delivering for today's seniors and responsibly preparing for future generations.