Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) released the following statement on H.R. 351, the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act. This legislation would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB):
"I am proud to reintroduce this important legislation. As a physician with more than 30 years of experience, I find the ability of this board to intervene in the patient-doctor relationship particularly troubling. I believe my bill is a testament to the fact that members of Congress can put party politics aside, come together and do what's right for our seniors. I will continue to push for a full repeal of the IPAB, and I look forward to working with my colleagues--both Republicans and Democrats--to protect and preserve Medicare."
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), the lead Democrat cosponsor of this legislation said:
"I am proud to come together with Congressman Roe today to introduce the Protecting Seniors Access to Medicare Act. History has taught us that blunt instruments aimed at simply reducing costs are not the best solution." Schwartz added. "As stewards of our financial resources, we need thoughtful policies that ensure access to quality and appropriate care for our seniors. We all agree that the rate of growth in costs under Medicare should and can be contained and that the current payment system is flawed and must be replaced. I am committed to working in a bipartisan manner to build upon this foundation to ensure we move to a different Medicare payment system that contains the rate of growth in costs and better ensures the sustainability of Medicare for current and future seniors."
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) is also an original cosponsor. Griffith said:
"I want to thank Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) for their leadership and continued efforts to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Since its beginning, I have been troubled by the creation of this board, which would give authority to 15 unelected bureaucrats who have the power to decide what treatment is provided through Medicare. I look forward to continue working alongside Dr. Roe, Congresswoman Schwartz, and other members of the House to achieve commonsense solutions which will replace the most harmful parts of the Affordable Care Act and improve access to quality care."
Background: Last Congress, Roe's stand-alone legislation to repeal the IPAB had over 230 cosponsors, including 20 Democrats, and passed the House as part of H.R. 5.
This Congress, Dr. Roe is reintroducing with 83 original bipartisan cosponsors.
Reps. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tom Price (R-GA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) also participated in the press conference.