Schwartz and Roe Introduce Bipartisan Plan to Repeal IPAB

Jan 23, 2013 Issues: Health Care, Seniors

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Reps. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and Phil Roe (R-TN) introduced the bipartisan Protecting Seniors Access to Medicare Act today. The bipartisan legislation would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), created as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to assume responsibility for reducing the rate of growth in Medicare without Congressional approval.

The following statement was delivered by Rep. Schwartz during a bipartisan press conference today to introduce the bill:

“I am proud to come together with Congressman Roe today to introduce the Protecting Seniors Access to Medicare Act. First, it is Congress’ responsibility to represent the needs of our seniors and to protect and sustain Medicare.

“Second, history has taught us that blunt instruments aimed at simply reducing costs are not the best solution.  As stewards of our financial resources, we need thoughtful policies that ensure access to quality and appropriate care for our seniors.  

“The Independent Payment Advisory Board brings unpredictability and uncertainty to providers and has the potential to stifle innovation and collaboration.

“We all agree that the rate of growth in costs under Medicare should and can be contained and that the current payment system is flawed and must be replaced.

“How we do this is our choice – contain costs through improved delivery of care or simply leave it to this new board to cut payments. My opposition to IPAB reflects my firm belief that fundamental reforms to Medicare payment and delivery systems are the right way to contain costs, while enhancing access and quality.

“I take great pride in the strides we made toward a more efficient, integrated health care system with enactment of the Affordable Care Act, particularly implementation of innovation in health care delivery systems in both the public and private sector. Cost reductions and improvements in quality are already evident and we have just started.

“I am committed to working in a bipartisan manner to build upon this foundation to ensure we move to a different Medicare payment system that contains the rate of growth in costs and better ensures the sustainability of Medicare for current and future seniors.”