On February 29th the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act of 2011 (H.R. 452) with no amendments and a bipartisan vote of 17-5. This legislation will repeal the 15 member Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) which was created during the development of PPACA to reduce Medicare spending.
Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Joe Pitts reiterated earlier sentiments asserting that IPAB “is the exact opposite of transparency and accountability and merely another example of valuing centralized decision-making by government appointed experts over judgments that should be made between a doctor and patient.”
H.R. 452 has a bipartisan group of cosponsors, including members of the full committee from both sides. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Edolphus Towns (D-NY) joined their Republican colleagues in supporting the bill, but were determined to differentiate their rationale; “My vote in support of abolishing IPAB is not related to my support for the ACA, it is based on my belief that Congress must stop ceding legislative power to the executive branch. For me, this is about Congressional prerogatives being limited,” said Ranking member Frank Pallone.
The bill passed by a voice vote in the full committee March 6.