270 healthcare groups back IPAB repeal

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Although the IPAB will technically only produce recommendations, those recommendations take effect automatically unless Congress votes to block them — and comes up with equivalent savings elsewhere in the budget.

"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 SebeliusKathleen SebeliusNext Kansas governor to reinstate LGBT protections for state workers Progressives set to test appeal of prairie populism in Kansas primary Overcoming health-care challenges by moving from volume to value MORE 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.