Get in the Game: Ask Your Legislators to Cosponsor and Pass Legislation to Repeal IPAB

As early as next month, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) could be triggered for the first time, launching a process that will lead to billions of dollars in Medicare cuts and reduce healthcare access to beneficiaries. The good news is that bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to repeal IPAB. Please visit the ASCRS·ASOA Grassroots Action Center to send instant messages to your legislators urging them to support and pass the following bills:

  • H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act, sponsored by Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Raul Ruiz (D-CA);
  • S.251, the Protecting Medicare from Executive Action Act, sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR); and
  • S.260, the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

Background
A provision of the Affordable Care Act, IPAB comprises 15 unelected, unaccountable presidential appointees who will propose significant cuts to Medicare expenditures when spending grows too rapidly. Until now, spending growth has not kept pace with the threshold required to trigger IPAB, and no members have been named to the board. In the event that IPAB does not recommend Medicare cuts, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services is empowered to recommend the spending cuts, which would automatically go into effect unless overridden by a supermajority vote in Congress.

Unless it is repealed, IPAB remains a threat to physicians and patients alike. ASCRS•ASOA and the entire medical community have consistently supported efforts to repeal IPAB since its inception. In December, ASCRS and a broad coalition of more than 600 organizations—representing doctors, patients, employers, veterans, minority groups, and nearly every sector of American healthcare—sent a letter to Congress to urge the repeal IPAB. Additionally, ASCRS and the Alliance of Specialty Medicine last week sent letters to Senate Democrats and Republicans who have yet to sponsor the respective bills urging them to do so. But they need to hear from YOU, too. Please contact them today!

If you need assistance, please contact Tami O’Brien, manager of PAC and grassroots at tobrien@ascrs.org.