Washington—The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), created by the Affordable Care Act as a way to keep Medicare spending under control, appears to be headed out of existence, much to the pleasure of much of the provider community—including urologists.
Or does it?
On June 23, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the IPAB following approval of the legislation earlier in June by the House Ways and Means Committee, along with another measure scrapping the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices that was also included in the 2010 health care reform law.
Reduced prevention funding source of debate
The House IPAB repeal vote was originally scheduled for June 15, but that was delayed as Democrats, many of whom agree that the board should be scrapped, objected to the Republican plan to cover the cost of repeal by reducing funding for prevention and public health.
Then came a threat from the White House that President Obama would veto both IPAB repeal and the plan to eliminate the medical device tax, which is also unpopular within the health care industry—should the Senate go along with the House’s action.
The repeal of the device tax “would take away a funding source for financial assistance that is working to improve coverage and affordability and would increase the federal deficit by $24 billion over 10 years,” the White House said in a statement. The plan to ditch the tax—also approved by the House in mid-June—does not include a plan to cover that cost, unlike the IPAB repeal initiative.
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