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Public Statements

Protecting Access to Healthcare Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANCE. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of H.R. 5 that combines the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board with significant medical malpractice reforms that will help reduce health care costs and preserve patients' access to medical care.

Today marks the 2-year anniversary of the House passage of the President's health care law. During that debate 2 years ago, I joined Members from both sides of the aisle in calling on the President to address one of the drivers of the high cost of health care by reforming the current medical liability system. Unfortunately, the President's health care bill passed the House on March 21, 2010, absent any real or meaningful medical liability reform.

The new law did include the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, and this cost-control board, made up of 15 unelected and, might I add, unconfirmed officials, has the power to make major cost-cutting decisions about Medicare, with little oversight or accountability.

The IPAB has been criticized by both Republicans and Democrats, and its repeal is supported by nearly 400 groups representing patients, doctors, and employers.

Today, on the 2-year anniversary of the House passage of the health care law, we have an opportunity to move to the future and enact real health care reform that will help bring down health care costs that are escalating at unsustainable rates while, at the same time, protecting needed care for our senior citizens.

As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I am pleased to have the opportunity to work on this important legislation, and I urge all of my colleagues to support H.R. 5.


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