IPAB: The Controversial Consequences for Medicare and Seniors

By Scott Gottlieb – American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research:

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, thank you for the opportunity to testify today before the Committee. I have a longer working paper that contains some supporting details to my oral testimony today that I would like to submit for the record.

The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) was created based on the premise that decisions about the pricing of health benefits offered by Medicare are simply too contentious to be adequately handled by our present political system.

But these decisions are precisely the kinds of consequential choices that should be subject to close public scrutiny and an open, rigorous, and transparent decision-making process that engages with Medicare’s stakeholders.

Changes to the way Medicare pays for and covers medical services affect too many people in significant ways to be made behind the closed doors of an insulated committee. How Medicare prices medical products and services has sweeping implications across the entire private marketplace. These decisions are some of the most important policy choices that we make inside our healthcare system.

Problems with IPAB’s Construction

IPAB is not the right body to discharge these kinds of matters. There are some considerable shortcomings with the way that IPAB is structured, and the manner in which the board is tasked with operating under current law.

IPAB was purposely construed in legislation to take decisions about how to cut Medicare’s spending on medical products and services out of any public debate and, instead, vest them in the hands of a sequestered board of appointed individuals. READ FULL ARTICLE


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