The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). It even sounds off-putting. Most people are unaware that the ObamaCare law sets up IPAB, a committee of 15 unelected people appointed by the President, and gives it the authority to literally make life and death decisions for all of us. IPAB can impose “quality” and “efficiency” measures on health care providers and disqualify providers from contracting with health insurance plans that individual Americans will be required to purchase. The impact on you? You could be denied life-saving treatment, even if you want to pay for it.
The good news is that the IPAB faces widespread criticism as a rationing agent and is disfavored by a growing number of members of Congress. Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee voted 17-5 in favor of H.R. 452, The Medicare Decisions Accountability Act, legislation which repeals the IPAB. Yesterday, the full House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 452 by a voice vote. This moves H.R. 452 closer to a vote by the full House of Representatives. Many are concerned about the IPAB’s ability to cut Medicare with limited congressional oversight, but the rationing power IPAB would have to deny life-saving care to people who want to pay for it adds another layer of gravity.
The full House is likely to approve H.R. 452, but the bill faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate and could face a presidential veto. Nonetheless, the House is taking an important first step to rid our country of this dreaded board.