Lawmakers Should Support Medicare Panel Repeal Bill

NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.R. 849, the “Protect Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act.” This bipartisan legislation would fully and permanently repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), one of the most harmful Obamacare provisions.

IPAB is not the proper way to address Medicare’s profound fiscal issues. The board wields enormous power, yet lacks essential accountability. The few cost-saving solutions it’s afforded could have dire consequences for Medicare consumers. Restrictions against increasing beneficiary premiums, reducing benefits, increasing cost-sharing, or modifying eligibility requirements all severely limit cost-cutting options. This artificial bias against real, long-term reform leaves only price-controls and care-rationing on the table.

Based on past experience, IPAB’s price controls could lead to scarcity, health care rationing, and spikes in the cost of other forms of medical care. This would mean longer wait times, fewer doctors, and a reduction in treatment options. At the same time, IPAB’s ability to issue decisions with very few checks and balances makes it very hard for Congress to propose smarter reforms to Medicare that could benefit taxpayers without hurting patients.

Price fixing won’t address the spending crisis Medicare -- and the taxpayers, who will ultimately foot the bill -- are facing.

Roll call votes on H.R. 849 will be significantly-weighted in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.