House IPAB repeal advances

The House of Representatives voted in June to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a Medicare cost containment entity created under the Affordable Care Act.

President Barack Obama has not nominated anyone to the 15-member board since it began, and Medicare spending has remained below targeted levels. The House bill is sponsored by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN).

Its 244-154 vote garnered little Democratic support. Some Democratic legislators said they were against IPAB, but they noted with disapproval that the bill included cuts to the ACA's Prevention and Public Health Fund.

“I don't like where they come up with the pay-fors,” Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) told the National Journal.

The White House said the president would veto the bill if it reached his desk.

The House also passed IPAB repeal legislation in 2012, but it died in the Senate. Certain physician groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Gastrological Association, have long supported the repeal. 

The Congressional Budget Office has said IPAB probably wouldn't have to recommend payment changes until 2022.

Also in June, the House also voted for legislation that would repeal the medical device tax.