House Committee Votes to Repeal IPAB

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , March 7, 2012

The committee vote was heralded by Republicans in tweets and formal statements. "IPAB was created by the health care law and has drawn widespread bipartisan opposition because it threatens to reduce seniors' access to treatments and services in Medicare," said Rep. Upton in a press statement announcing the vote.

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), who supports the repeal touched on a common objection in his tweet: "unelected bureaucrats shouldn't come between patients and their doctors."

Rep. Marsha Blackburn's (R-TN) tweet seemed to confirm a common concern of Democrats that Republicans still hope to repeal the healthcare reform. "Happy to report the repeal of the IPAB passed out of House Commerce," tweeted Blackburn. "We're closer to repealing President Obama's flawed healthcare law."

While the House Energy and Commerce vote was taking place, the House Ways & Means Committee held a hearing on to discuss IPAB's potential influence on Medicare. The committee is scheduled to mark up HR 452 on Thursday. The full House may consider the bill next week.

Support for an IPAB repeal remains iffy on the Senate side. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced in February the Healthcare Bureaucrats Elimination Act (S 2118). The bill has 22 Republican co-sponsors and no Democratic co-sponsors.

Unless that changes, the bill will probably go nowhere.

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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