WASHINGTON – The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) commended the 307 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted Thursday for H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2017, to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
National Right to Life directed criticism at the 111 House members who voted against the bill. Carol Tobias, National Right to Life president, said
“Pro-lifers have long opposed IPAB due to concerns that it could reduce access to healthcare. The time to repeal this dangerous rationing board is now.”
The IPAB is composed of 15 unelected bureaucrats who are answerable to no one. The Board is directed to recommend even measures to limit private, nongovernmental spending on health care to a growth rate below medical inflation. Although most news reports have focused on the Board’s authority to limit government spending in Medicare, little attention has been given to this more sweeping danger of rationing healthcare paid for with nongovernmental dollars.
According to Jennifer Popik, J.D., National Right to Life director of federal legislation, “IPAB’s powers go well beyond some benign effort to control Medicare spending. IPAB would recommend drastic limits for the Department of Health and Human Services to impose even on what Americans are allowed to spend out of their own funds to save their own lives and the lives of their families.”
National Right to Life is calling on the U.S. Senate to take action to advance this legislation.
Further details on specific components of H.R. 849 are found in National Right to Life’s October 31, 2017, letter to the House of Representatives, available here.