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GOP Congressmen Seek Repeal of IPAB

Jan. 26, 2011 (EIRNS)—Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) and eleven Republican co-sponsors introduced a bill today, H.R. 452, to repeal the Independent Payments Advisory Board (IPAB), charging that the Obama healthcare law mandates IPAB to control costs, "giving this board the authority to approve and deny funding for care." Roe also noted that Congress, by establishing IPAB, has ceded much of its authority to oversee Medicare (doubtlessly referring to what EIR calls its "perpetuity clause"), and he notes that IPAB's mandate is not to improve patient care, but "to meet a budget, and that harms patient care."

In an an op-ed published in the Washington Times last July, which is being circulated in connection with the new bill, Rep. Roe (a physician) stated:

"Great Britain's medical system has a comparable board, known as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence - or NICE. Unfortunately, this board's effect on health care for seniors is anything but nice."

Rep. Roe's office told EIR that they are also seeking Democratic support, and Roe's press release cites the letter that 75 Democratic Congressmen signed in 2009 opposing IPAB. Co-sponsors of the Roe bill include Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.).

Last year, a group of Republican Senators, led by Sen. John Cornyn, introduced a similar bill; there is no indication so far that they have yet introduced the same bill in the new session of Congress.