HR 351, IPAB Repeal Bill Introduced in House of Representatives
Representative David P. Roe, MD (R-Tenn.) has introduced HR 351, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act, which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). HR 351 was introduced on January 23, 2013 with Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Penn.) and has already garnered one hundred bipartisan co-sponsors. Please visit to view a detailed list of cosponsors.
IPAB is scheduled to begin as early as April 2013. Currently, no funding has been approved for IPAB and the government continues to struggle with securing the 15 member board. Fewer than half of the board members can be health care providers and no member can serve as a practicing physician or be otherwise employed. The board also lacks congressional oversight and requires Congressional action, including a three-fifths majority Senate vote to overturn any proposed recommendations. In the event that IPAB cannot come to a decision on spending, its power is transferred to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who is still required to make cuts in order to meet the spending targets mandated in PPACA.
If HR 351 is passed, it will protect both patients and physicians from dangerous Medicare cuts. A similar bill introduced last year was incorporated with medical malpractice reform into HR 5 and passed the House, but was not acted upon in the Senate. This time, Dr. Roe says Republican leaders have promised a straight up-or-down vote. Roe remains confident that, if voted on, the bill will pass the House. He indicates, however, that Democratic support in the Senate is not yet secured. HR 351 is supported by over twenty-five medical societies.
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