IPAB Stalled, For Now
The Independent Payment Advisory Board, created by PPACA and detested by Congress and the healthcare industry, will not start cutting Medicare spending in 2015, as was expected. The reason is surprisingly nonpartisan and based, astonishingly, on common sense.
Essentially, the component of the law that created IPAB also has language delaying the board's authority when Medicare spending doesn't outpace the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Since Medicare's spending has slowed in recent years —a fact lauded by Secretary of Health Kathleen Sibelius—and that pattern isn't projected to change by 2015, the chief actuary Medicare notified the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services that the IPAB wasn't needed yet. It'll be interesting to see how temporarily this delay lasts.