Proposed IPAB repeal would benefit seniors, House lawmaker says

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A bipartisan group of legislators introduced a bill in the House of Representatives Wednesday to repeal the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) called for by the Affordable Care Act.

This is the latest attempt by House lawmakers to abolish IPAB, which critics derided as a “death panel” in debates over healthcare reform. An IPAB repeal bill passed two House committees in March, but Democratic support for the measure eroded in part because the repeal was linked to medical malpractice legislation. The current bill, introduced by Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), has bipartisan support. However, it's unclear whether it would gain any traction in the Senate.

IPAB would have the authority to set Medicare reimbursement policy, subject to congressional approval, if costs exceed benchmarks. Though Medicare costs are unlikely to exceed these thresholds before 2023, Roe said IPAB could “intervene in the doctor-patient relationship” and repeal would be “what's right for our seniors.”

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