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Mr. PAULSEN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Madam Chair, the very foundation of our health care system is that relationship between a patient and their doctor. But the President's new health care law inserts government bureaucracy in the middle of that longstanding relationship. One clear example of this is the establishment of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, this 15-member board of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who will soon have the authority to dictate our Nation's Medicare policy by effectively deciding what health care seniors can receive. And since its inception, IPAB has been the focus of vocal and sustained opposition from doctors, physicians, and patients because it does threaten to reduce beneficiaries' access to treatments and services that are included in the Medicare program.
Madam Chair, the repeal of IPAB has strong bipartisan support. Given the widespread concern about the impact that IPAB will have to deny quality health care services, it's no wonder that about 350 organizations that represent veterans, seniors, employers small and large, as well as doctors and physicians and consumers in all 50 States, support its repeal. Although a majority of us here in Congress have registered our concerns about IPAB and support its repeal, it is the American public, including many folks from my community, who remain the most vocal about ending this program before it is implemented.
The American people have every reason to be worried about this IPAB board. The unchecked powers of IPAB have been explained by my colleagues already at length. Simply put, IPAB is a dangerous new government agency that will be made up of unelected bureaucrats with no oversight, no accountability, and no recourse for seniors to appeal any of IPAB's decisions. The decision-making, the deliberations, the meetings that IPAB hold do not have to be held in public.
Madam Chair, rather than endangering Medicare beneficiaries, we should be empowering them. Rather than making decisions behind closed doors, we should be having these discussions in public in our hearing rooms between doctors, patients, and consumers. Let's do the right thing and protect American seniors by repealing this overreaching provision.
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