Statement by Healthcare Leadership Council President Mary R. Grealy on the Need to Repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board

Calls for Congress to Meet August 15 Deadline for Passage of Fast Track Resolution to Eliminate IPAB Threat to Medicare Beneficiaries

The need for Congress to eliminate the threat to Medicare beneficiaries posed by the Independent Payment Advisory Board remains both urgent and essential.  The announcement today that IPAB will not be triggered into action this year may change the timing of the threat, but not its inevitability or impact.

The case to repeal IPAB remains a compelling one.  Simply cutting resources from the Medicare program within a limited timeframe will not strengthen the value of the program to beneficiaries or taxpayers, but will instead adversely affect patient access to care.  Reducing what Medicare pays for healthcare services – widening the reimbursement gap between Medicare and private insurance – can only harm seniors and beneficiaries with disabilities.

Congress has a unique, one-time-only opportunity to enact a joint resolution by August 15 that will permanently remove the IPAB threat through a fast-track process that could not be derailed by filibuster or amendments.  There is no question that a vote today on an IPAB repeal resolution would have strong and sufficient bipartisan support. Lawmakers should not let this window close without taking action.

Nearly 800 organizations from all 50 states representing patients, healthcare providers, employers, veterans, and Americans with disabilities have asked Congress to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board before it can harm beneficiaries.  The time for that action is now.

The Healthcare Leadership Council is a coalition of chief executives of the nation’s leading health care companies and institutions.  Follow us on Twitter at @HealthInFocus