Republican bill would eliminate Medicare payment advisory board from healthcare reform law

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Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

Senate Republicans have introduced legislation that would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) that is part of the healthcare reform law.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Health Care Bureaucrats Elimination Act to the Senate Tuesday. The healthcare reform law calls for the creation of IPAB, which would be comprised of 15 presidentially appointed members who would have authority over Medicare payment decisions. The board, which replaces the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), takes away seniors' ability to hold elected officials accountable for decisions that affect Medicare, according to Cornyn. Many healthcare providers also oppose the creation of such a board.

Proponents of an independent board have argued that it would give the authority to make politically difficult decisions regarding healthcare costs to independent agents who would be less likely to be swayed by interest groups or the possibility of losing an election. (McKnight's, 7/31/09) Co-sponsors of the bill are Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Pat Roberts (R-KA) and Tom Coburn (R-OK).

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