Press Releases

Roe, Ruiz Bill to Repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board Passes House

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Washington, November 2, 2017 | Lani Short (202-225-6356) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Today, the House passed H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act, a bill introduced by Reps. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) and Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA) to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) by a vote of 307 to 111.

“I am thrilled the House passed my bipartisan legislation, and I thank my colleagues for supporting the repeal,” said Dr. Roe. “The IPAB has been given sweeping powers to change Medicare with little recourse to change direction. Today, a strong bipartisan majority agreed that health care decisions should be left to doctors and patients, not unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats. After practicing medicine for more than 30 years, I can tell you that no two patients are the same; different patient needs and preferences require personalized care. The IPAB doesn’t take this into consideration, and could possibly harm seniors’ access to care by utilizing a one-size-fits-all approach to cut Medicare spending. I urge my Senate colleagues to take up and support this important bill.”

“The Independent Payment Advisory Board was a well-intentioned, but misguided piece of the Affordable Care Act that would have put an unaccountable and unelected panel in charge of making sweeping changes to Medicare spending. What’s more, if the board failed to act, the HHS Secretary would have the sole power to make those cuts. Our constituents should be able to hold accountable anyone who can make cuts to Medicare, regardless of their party,” said Dr. Ruiz. “I am proud to have worked across the aisle with Representative Phil Roe on this commonsense, bipartisan change to the ACA. I am pleased this bill passed the House today and I urge swift consideration in the Senate. We must come together to protect and strengthen Medicare for our nation’s seniors,” Ruiz added.

“We applaud the House for passing the Roe-Ruiz legislation and, in so doing, preserving the nation’s commitment to Medicare beneficiaries,” said Mary R. Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council. “When it is inevitably triggered, the Independent Payment Advisory Board will limit the ability of seniors and beneficiaries with disabilities to see their doctors and receive essential treatments. We will be urging the Senate to act expeditiously on IPAB repeal legislation to remove this threat of harm from the tens of millions of Americans who depend upon Medicare.”

“On behalf of the physician and medical student members of the American Medical Association (AMA), I applaud the continued leadership of Reps. Phil Roe, MD, and Raul Ruiz, MD, in advancing bipartisan legislation to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The AMA strongly supports House passage of H.R. 849, the ‘Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2017,’” said David O. Barbe, AMA President. “IPAB puts significant health care payment and policy decisions in the hands of an independent body with far too little accountability. Its cost-cutting targets would lead to short-sighted strategies that would threaten access to care for millions of Medicare patients across the country. Eliminating the IPAB will allow physicians and policymakers to focus on long-term efforts to improve care quality, improve health outcomes, and make Medicare more sustainable while preserving access to care for seniors now and in the future.”

“The Michael J. Fox Foundation joins other patient organizations in recognizing the importance of extending the solvency of Medicare through cost-containment measures which help control the growth of health care spending,” said Ted Thompson, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. “However, leaving these decisions in the hands of an unelected board who are restricted by unrealistic timelines and expectations creates a dangerous precedent that leaves the most vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries at risk.”

Rep. Roe spoke on the House floor in support of the legislation. To watch the Congressman’s remarks, click here. Roe also wrote about the bill in his column this week. You can find that here
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