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Public Statements

Protecting Access to Health Care Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BENISHEK. I thank the chairman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, as my good friend, the chairman, knows, before I came to this House, I served as a general surgeon for three decades. So 2 years ago this week, while President Obama was pitching his 2,000-page health care overhaul, I was back home in Michigan, taking care of patients and wondering how this law was going to change the relationship between a physician and his patients.

Now the President's broken promises have shown us: Instead of providing real solutions to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship or improving the way we deliver health care to patients, the President gave us the Independent Payment Advisory Board. IPAB is a 15-member commission of unelected bureaucrats charged with cutting Medicare spending, specifically reimbursement for physicians. It's a very Washington-type solution to take something as personal as a doctor seeing a patient in his office and creating a panel of Washington bureaucrats to determine how that's going to be paid for.

As a physician, I can tell you that when you set up an unelected board and give them unprecedented power and little government oversight, the results will be clear. This will lead to arbitrary cuts to the Medicare program, less access to care, and rationing. Today we are voting to stop that from happening.

Mr. Chairman, we've already heard the other side of the aisle accusing the majority of pushing Grandma off a cliff. But instead of scare tactics and hyperbole, I ask Members on both sides of the aisle to support this effort to repeal the IPAB. Support this effort to eliminate what seniors are really concerned about: a group of unelected bureaucrats making health care decisions for them.

As a physician, I am proud to support the repeal of this ill-conceived rationing board on behalf of all my patients and constituents in northern Michigan.


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