On Capitol Hill this week, the health law's independent payment advisory panel drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was on hand to absorb some of the attacks and answer some of the questions.
PBS Newshour: Rationing Care Or Controlling Costs? Medicare Board Takes Heat On The Hill
Echoes of the once-familiar drumbeat to "repeal and replace" the health care reform law returned to Capitol Hill this week as GOP lawmakers focused on bringing down one of the law's key pillars. The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) drew the ire of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle as the panel and its ability to sidestep Congress to implement Medicare cuts became the focus of two congressional committee hearings. Called everything from a "pernicious" ration board to realistic price control, the independent committee will recommend cuts to the ballooning Medicare system that would automatically take effect when Congress fails to implement cost-saving measures of its own (Kane, 7/13).
The Hill: GOP Aims For Focused IPAB Attack
House Republicans made a point this week to set aside their broader objections to health care reform and target a specific provision that "scares the s--- out of us," Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) said Wednesday. The House GOP's criticism of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is the most focused, sustained attack on a single piece of the health law since Republicans won the repeal of an unpopular tax reporting provision (Baker, 7/13).
Politico: GOP Dilemma: Handling IPAB Opposition
Republicans can't seem to decide whether they want to lambaste the health reform law's Independent Payment Advisory Board or present a more moderate tone. In theory, Republicans say they're convinced that repealing the IPAB will be easier if they don't make it political — or as nonpolitical as anyone can make health care reform. But it might be too tempting for some lawmakers to let it go quietly (Haberkorn, 7/13).