Washingtonn D.C. — Today, as two house committees mark-up a bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, the Center for American Progress released a new analysis finding that repealing IPAB will increase federal budget deficits and the federal debt, and put the Medicare program at risk. Furthermore, the proposed alternatives to IPAB, such as premium support, would ration care by shifting costs to beneficiaries, making the care that they need less affordable.
“While the Independent Payment Advisory Board cuts costs by improving the efficiency of the health care system, the Republican plan for premium support would ration care by shifting costs to beneficiaries,” said Topher Spiro, author of the analysis and managing director for health policy at CAP.
The analysis, "The Independent Payment Advisory Board: Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries and Taxpayers from Special Interests," details the essential role the IPAB plays in reducing health care costs while improving the quality of care. According to the analysis, IPAB will save taxpayers money, limit the growth in Medicare spending, and reduce federal budget deficits and the federal debt. It will do so by changing the way health care is paid for and delivered—not by rationing care or cutting benefits. If the Independent Payment Advisory Board is repealed or hamstrung the only alternative would be to ration care by privatizing Medicare, shifting costs to beneficiaries, and restricting eligibility.
The purpose of the board as originally conceived was to protect the Medicare program from special interests. The analysis details several case studies when special interests have exerted their money and used their lobbyists to block or delay commonsense reforms that would strengthen Medicare and put the program on a sustainable path. With IPAB policy recommendations will be driven by science, data, evidence, the expert advice of physicians, and the input of stakeholders. The final say will still rest with Congress, but doing nothing will no longer be an option.
Read the issue brief: The Independent Payment Advisory Board: Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries and Taxpayers from Special Interests by Topher Spiro
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