The House Ways and Means Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee will this week hold markups for legislation that repeals Obamacare’s Independent Advisory Payment Board (IPAB). The legislation, H.R. 849, introduced by Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN) has more than 200 co-sponsors and should be unanimously approved by both Committees.
IPAB was created seven years ago when Obamacare was signed into law. The basic role of IPAB is to institute price controls and rationing within the Medicare system. In practice, this leaves the U.S. healthcare system with the same price controls attempted (and failed) in socialized medicine systems seen throughout the world.
IPAB’s scope and role also undermines the constitutionally granted authority that Congress has over the power of the purse. IPAB bureaucrats are free to institute price controls they see fit without approval from Congress. As a result, this board has immense power over health outcomes and the livelihood of patients and doctors.
Repealing IPAB is not controversial – there is broad consensus from a range of stakeholders. Allowing the board to operate will result in indiscriminate cuts to Medicare that undermine healthcare choice and access of 55 million Americans.
While healthcare reform has stalled, Congress should act to quickly repeal IPAB and prevent new price controls from being implemented. Both the House Ways and Means Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee should quickly approve this common-sense, bipartisan bill and send it to the House floor for swift approval.