As time marches on and more and more of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is implemented, it is sometimes easy to become apathetic, to sit back and be fatalistic about the impact the ACA will have on each and every one of us. It's easy to become resigned that there isn't anything anyone can do about its most onerous provisions. Thank goodness there are Members of Congress who are not apathetic, fatalistic or resigned to the status quo.
House Members David P. Roe (R - 1st TN) and Allyson Y. Schwartz (D -13th PA) today re-introduced a bi-partisan bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). We've talked many times about this un-elected, presidentially appointed, short-sighted and uncontrollable board that would have the power to essentially cut benefits and raise the cost of Medicare with little or no oversight from either Congress or the judicial system. The President has said that he is open to changes to the ACA and there have been a few changes that have made it through, specifically the onerous and burdensome 1099 requirements and the fiscally unsupportable CLASS long term care plan. The elimination of the IPAB is another change that both Republicans and Democrats believe should be made now.
The IPAB is another example of our slide toward disconnecting the people from those who govern us. The three branches of our government were created to do specific jobs, but most importantly they were created to provide checks and balances on each other. The way that the IPAB was created as part of the ACA virtually eliminates two of the branches of government, thus eliminating those important checks and balances. IPAB also eliminates the protections that you deserve, as a patient and a citizen. This is not how our government should operate. Once implemented, IPAB establishes a precedent that could have disastrous consequences far greater than the ACA. It is critically important for the future of our great Nation that the IPAB portion of the ACA be totally repealed.
We congratulate Congressman Roe and Congresswoman Schwartz for taking action on this important issue. We urge every member of Congress to sign on to this bill so this uncontrolled board can be extracted from the ACA and this harmful, wide-ranging precedent can be stopped now, before it's too late. This is how our government should work and we hope they are able to do the people's work and eliminate the IPAB forever.