Congress launches IPAB repeal effort

Congress has launched a campaign to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), introducing legislation and joint resolutions to eliminate the board.

IPAB is a 15-member board created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is charged with making recommendations to cut Medicare expenditures if spending growth exceeds certain thresholds, according to the American College of Radiology (ACR), which has long supported eliminating the board.

On January 31, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced S. 251, "The Protecting Medicare from Executive Action of 2017 Act," as well as Senate Joint Resolution 16, which would authorize IPAB's repeal. Rep. Dr. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) has introduced a companion resolution, House Joint Resolution 51. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has reintroduced S. 260, a bill that seeks to eliminate IPAB; Rep. Dr. Phil Roe (R-TX) is expected to file a House companion bill to S. 260, the ACR said.

Both Democrats and Republicans oppose IPAB due to its "fast track" legislative procedures designed to ensure that Congress quickly implements its recommendations, the ACR said: IPAB proposals automatically become law unless three-fifths of the Senate votes against the recommendations, and its recommendations are not subject to executive or judicial branch review.

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