Left contrasts healthcare law's IPAB with GOP Medicare proposals


Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow Kevin McCarthy sold his soul to Donald Trump On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Stopping the next insurrection MORE (R-Wis.) has proposed converting Medicare into a “premium support” system, under which the traditional single-payer program would end and seniors would instead receive subsidies to help them buy private insurance.

CAP, citing figures from the Congressional Budget Office, said the proposal would require seniors to pay more for fewer benefits. The IPAB, by contrast, is prohibited from cutting benefits or increasing seniors’ share of their Medicare costs. It can only cut Medicare’s payments to doctors.

The 15-member IPAB would make targeted Medicare cuts if the program’s spending grows faster than a prescribed rate. Some Republicans say it’s too much power for a group of unelected experts, while others warn that the cuts would be tantamount to “rationing.”

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to pass a bill Tuesday that would repeal the IPAB.

Although many Democrats, especially in the House, opposed the IPAB when it was first included in healthcare reform, the White House and its allies are mounting a strong defense now. As Monday’s CAP analysis notes, the IPAB is one of the healthcare law’s most significant attempts to rein in healthcare costs — which both parties agree are rising at an unsustainable rate.

“The board will save taxpayers money, limit the growth in Medicare spending, and reduce federal budget deficits and the federal debt,” CAP said. “It will do so by changing the way health care is paid for and delivered — not by rationing care or cutting benefits.”