Report Questions Independent Payment Advisory Board

A report by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) raises questions about the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created in the new health care reform law. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the IPAB was created to “reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending.” The Board, composed of 15 members appointed by the President, is charged with making recommendations to maintain Medicare spending below a targeted per capita growth rate. Critics charge that the statute creates a number of barriers that inhibit Congress’ ability to reject or defeat any proposed Medicare cuts.

The CRS report states that the IPAB provision may be open to legal challenges because the law shifts the “balance of power to the executive branch and away from Congress.” The constitutionality of the Board currently is being challenged in federal district court in Arizona by the Goldwater Institute. The CRS also questions how the IPAB procedures will impact House and Senate parliamentary procedures and the constitutional rights of both chambers.

Click here to read the 37-page CRS IPAB report.


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