Key Vote Alert! Letter to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Supporting H.R. 849, the "Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act of 2017"

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 1:15pm


     The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports H.R. 849, the “Protecting Seniors’
Access to Medicare Act of 2017,” which would repeal the Independent Payment
Advisory Board (IPAB) created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
(PPACA). The Chamber may consider votes on, or in relation to, H.R. 849 in
our annual How They Voted scorecard.
     The IPAB is a commission with the unprecedented authority to make
recommendations to cut Medicare spending by reducing reimbursement rates if the
growth rate of spending exceeds the target rate. If Congress does not implement
spending cuts equal to the amount recommended by the IPAB, the IPAB’s
recommendations automatically take effect with no administrative or judicial review.
     In addition to setting a dangerous precedent for superseding the conventional
legislative process, the IPAB decisions would potentially lead to arbitrary cuts in the
Medicare program. If reimbursement rates to Medicare providers are inadequate, this
would shift costs onto private payers and consumers while also limiting patient access
to care and innovative therapies.
     Instead of focusing on improving healthcare and implementing delivery system
reforms to address cost and quality issues in healthcare, the IPAB’s likely focus on
simply reducing provider payment rates would preclude a constructive dialogue about
Medicare modernization and meaningful spending reform.
     The Chamber applauds efforts to repeal the IPAB and urges the House of
Representatives to approve this legislation.
Jack Howard
Senior Vice President
Congressional and Public Affairs