Roe Sends Multi-Member Letter to Appropriators Requesting the House Defund the IPAB
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), joined by 39 members, sent the following letter to House Appropriators requesting they defund the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB):
“As you prepare the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014, we ask that you eliminate funding for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and include language prohibiting the Department of Health and Human Services from using appropriated funds to engage in any activities related to the IPAB process.
“The IPAB has sweeping powers to reduce the growth of Medicare spending. Its proposals will be considered using “fast track” procedures and—absent a three-fifths vote of the Senate—Congress can only modify the type of cuts proposed, not the amount. Should Congress fail to act on the board’s recommendations, they automatically go into effect. To make matters worse, the IPAB is exempt from administrative or judicial review.
“If the president does not nominate individuals to serve on the IPAB—or if the IPAB fails to recommend cuts to Medicare—the law gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to make changes unilaterally. We all should be able to agree that the power to affect seniors’ health care should not be concentrated in one person.
“With the IPAB process set to begin on April 30, 2013, we must act now to prevent this unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy from limiting seniors’ access to needed medical care. Thank you for your consideration of our request.”
Background: H.R. 351, Congressman Roe’s bipartisan legislation to repeal the IPAB, has more than 150 cosponsors. Last Congress, Congressman Roe introduced identical legislation which passed the House as part of H.R. 5.
A copy of the letter can be found here.