By Sam Baker - 06/24/11 07:07 PM EDT
"We believe that the IPAB sets a dangerous precedent for overriding the normal legislative process," the opponents wrote. "Congress is a representative body that has a duty to legislate on issues of public policy. Abdicating this responsibility to an unelected and unaccountable board removes our elected officials from the decision-making process for a program that millions of our nation’s seniors and disabled individuals rely upon."
Congressional Republicans are stepping up their criticism of the IPAB, a measure that even many Democrats would have preferred to ax from healthcare reform. GOP doctors held a press conference on the panel last week, charging that it will kill seniors, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee is planning a hearing on the panel for next month.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius defended the IPAB on Friday. Many health are wonks, including former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and former White House budget director Peter Orszag, have said the IPAB or something like it is among the best ways to control skyrocketing healthcare costs.