Nation’s Healthcare Leaders Urge House Action This Week to Repeal IPAB, Preserving Medicare Beneficiaries’ Access to Care


With Bipartisan Majority Support for Repeal in Both House and Senate, Congress Should Enact Measure This Year 

WASHINGTON – With a vote scheduled this week in the U.S. House of Representatives on bipartisan legislation to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an organization representing the nation’s healthcare leaders from multiple health sectors is urging lawmakers to support repeal and protect healthcare access for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.

The Healthcare Leadership Council is one of more than 750 organizations representing patients, healthcare providers, seniors, Americans with disabilities, veterans and others that have asked Congress to repeal IPAB before it does significant harm to those dependent upon Medicare.

The legislation, sponsored by Representatives Phil Roe (R-TN) and Raul Ruiz (D-CA) would eliminate IPAB which, when triggered into action by Medicare spending projections, would result in the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in lieu of a board being appointed by the president) being mandated to initiate significant Medicare spending cuts that could prompt more physician practices to restrict the number of Medicare beneficiaries they can afford to treat.

A clear bipartisan majority of the U.S. House has cosponsored the Roe-Ruiz legislation.  Similarly, IPAB repeal measures sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have, collectively, attracted a majority of that body as cosponsors.

“Setting arbitrary budget reduction targets and mandating harsh short-term budget cuts to meet them is no way to improve the Medicare program or fulfill the nation’s healthcare commitments to older Americans and beneficiaries with disabilities,” said HLC president Mary R. Grealy.  “We need to continue pursuing reforms that will improve Medicare’s standing as a value-based, consumer-centered healthcare program.  Making beneficiaries sicker by limiting their access to care takes us in the wrong direction and must be prevented.”