Hearings Show IPAB Has Little Support In House, But Does It Matter?
Two congressional hearings during the week of July 15 confirmed there is little support in the House for the Independent Payment Advisory Board and its broad power to make cost-cutting changes to Medicare.
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House Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader McConnell “respectfully decline” the president’s request to submit names of individuals to serve on the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board.
Most everyone can agree that health care costs are spiraling out of control. President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney each say they have a plan to cut spending. But while those are being debated, a high-profile group of former Obama advisers are suggesting something much more radical: a systematic change in the way we pay for health care. Could it be a blueprint for a second Obama term?
The Budget Control Act created a 12-member bicameral panel charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion to cut from federal spending. The top Democrat and top Republican in each chamber of Congress appointed three members to serve on the joint committee. The Committee needs to make its legislative proposal by Thanksgiving, with only a simple majority needed to send the fiscal package to both chambers for approval. President Obama would then have to sign the bill by Jan. 15, 2012. A failure to accomplish this will trigger automatic spending cuts across all government programs as defined by the BCA (“Beware The Debt Deal’s Spending Cut Trigger: Medicare Part D and B Provider Pay Would Drop,” “The Pink Sheet” DAILY, Aug. 2, 2011). Health care related issues are expected to be a significant part of the discussions within the committee, including Medicaid-level rebates for drugs used by dual eligibles in the Medicare Part D program.