February 23, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Health Care Reform
California Congressman and physician Raul Ruiz, M.D., (D-Palm Springs) and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) recently introduced bills that that would prevent the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) from moving forward.
IPAB was to be a 15-member federal agency with the task of achieving specified savings in Medicare without affecting coverage or quality. It was established by the Affordable Care Act and up until now has not been implemented. The board was charged with making recommendations to reduce per capita spending growth in Medicare if spending growth exceeds a specified target.
The California Medical Association (CMA) has long advocated for the board’s elimination. CMA is concerned that strict budgetary targets and other limitations imposed on the panel would ultimately threaten the ability of the nation’s seniors and disabled to obtain health care because the cuts directed by IPAB would disproportionally fall on physicians and negatively impact access to care.
“Given the Trump administration’s short but disturbing record of irresponsible and cruel executive actions, it would be a huge mistake to leave in place the authority to push through harmful cuts to Medicare with minimal input from Congress,” Wyden said.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Phil Roe, M.D., (R-TN) have introduced similar bills. CMA applauds the actions of these representatives, particularly our own physician Congressman, Dr. Ruiz, to eliminate the IPAB once and for all.