This week on Fact Check Friday, we’re taking a closer look at the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) – the panel tasked with proposing cuts to Medicare if spending exceeds a certain growth target.MYTH: The Independent Payment Advisory Board cannot propose or make cuts to Medicare without convening a 15-member board nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
FACT: IPAB’s broad powers are transferred to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) if a board is not appointed or confirmed and the statute is triggered.
While it was created in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act, board members have not been appointed to date and the Medicare spending growth target could potentially be reached in 2017.
IPAB, as designed, grants largely unchecked power to the board or Secretary of HHS to make widespread changes to Medicare without congressional approval. A recap of why that’s bad for patients and why IPAB should be repealed can be found here.
Legislation repealing IPAB has been introduced in both the House and the Senate this year, but there is also a unique, fast track way to repeal IPAB this summer. The law that created IPAB included language for a Joint Resolution to discontinue the board that, if enacted, repeals IPAB. That Joint Resolution has already been introduced in the House and the Senate – all that is left is for Congress to pass the Joint Resolution so that it can be enacted by the August 15, 2017, deadline.
Stakeholders from across the health care industry agree: IPAB must be repealed now.
Learn more about IPAB and the risk it poses for patients: PhRMA.org/IPAB
Nicole Longo Nicole is director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on Medicare, 340B, importation and more. She previously worked for a D.C.-based public affairs firm where she assisted a wide range of clients with communications efforts on everything from trade policy to agriculture policy to health care policy. Outside the office, Nicole can be found trying new restaurants (usually Italian), taking an occasional barre class and cheering on the Cincinnati Bengals.