IPAB Repeal Arguments Weak, For Now

Philip Betbeze, March 8, 2013

The Independent Payment Advisory Board, a creation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has lots of enemies, even though it doesn't really exist yet.

The American Medical Association is against it, and so is the American Hospital Association according to a letter released just last week. Lots of people in Congress, despite the fact that as a group, they're responsible for the fact that it became part of the law, are also against it.

They've introduced at least three bills since the beginning of the year to try to repeal it. Almost laughably, the AHA's recent letter to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), says it supports repeal (he's filed a repeal bill) because IPAB "permanently removes Congress from the process of making decisions regarding Medicare payment."

Ask supporters of the sustainable growth rate formula (if you can find any) if that statute ever "permanently removed" Congress from meddling in Medicare payment decisions. That formula, voted into law with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, has been delayed by, guess who—Congress—umpteen times since 2002.

Philip Betbeze

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders Media.


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