Last week, H.R. 351, the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act, was introduced into the House of Representatives. This legislation repeals the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which was created within ObamaCare. Congressman Westmoreland is an original cosponsor of this legislation.
"Even though it has yet to be fully implemented, our small businesses and families are already feeling the impacts of ObamaCare," stated Westmoreland. "Legislation like the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act is one step we can take to minimize that negative impact ObamaCare has on our families and small businesses. I strongly encourage Speaker Boehner to bring this important legislation to a vote as soon as possible and hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will support it on the floor."
IPAB is one of the most controversial aspects of the health care law. It is a board comprised of 15 members appointed by the president and designed to control the rate of growth of Medicare spending. Opponents are concerned this board would have the ability to ration health care for seniors, making decisions whether or not to approve life-saving procedures for Medicare patients. If IPAB fails to provide a recommendations report, the Medicare policy decisions fall into the hands of one person -- the Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department.
"We don't need Washington bureaucrats making the life-changing decisions for our seniors," stated Westmoreland. "Treatment decisions like that should be made between the patient and their doctor. As we've seen time and time again, giving a lot of power to these appointed board members doesn't guarantee good results when it comes to budgets and spending. Our seniors deserve better than that and they definitely do not need more meddling by government officials. We need to focus on improving the program and make sure doctors have the tools to treat our seniors -- not cut their funding because the president's board said so."
The bill is awaiting committee assignment and currently no hearing or markup has been scheduled, but Congressman Westmoreland hopes it will quickly pass through the House of Representatives and be brought to a vote on the House Floor.