Washington, D.C. — Today, Topher Spiro, Managing Director for Health Policy, issued the following statement regarding the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee vote to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB:
With today’s vote by a House committee to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, Republicans have sided with the special interests and lobbyists in Washington at the expense of Medicare beneficiaries. For too long special interests like insurance companies and drug manufacturers have wielded their money and lobbyists to block or delay commonsense reforms that would strengthen Medicare and put the program on a sustainable path. With the IPAB, recommendations will be made to Congress based on science and evidence, the expert advice of physicians, and the input of stakeholders—not on the lobbying clout of special interests. The final say will still rest with Congress—but doing nothing will no longer be an option.
The IPAB will reduce health care costs by changing the way health care is paid for and delivered—it will not ration care. In fact, the IPAB is specifically prohibited by law from raising taxes or premiums, increasing cost-sharing, cutting benefits or eligibility, or rationing care. But one thing is certain: If the IPAB is repealed or hamstrung, the only alternative would be to ration care by privatizing Medicare, shifting costs to beneficiaries, and slashing benefits and eligibility.