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2 Years Later: Time to Repeal IPAB, Restore Medicare

Barrasso, Cornyn call on Congress to repeal Washington commission that will ration seniors’ care

March 7, 2012

Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s & Sen. Cornyn’s remarks.

March 23rd, will mark the two year anniversary of the President’s health care law.  It has destroyed jobs, driven up costs, increased Washington’s control over Americans’ health care, and weakened Medicare.

Today, U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and John Cornyn(R-TX) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate about the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).  This bureaucratic board will ration seniors’ care and make it harder for them to see health care providers.

Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate:

“In the lead up to the second anniversary of the law, I’m going to talk about specific ways that the law has actually made it worse for the American people.

“I come to the floor with my colleague, Senator Cornyn, and he's been traveling around the state of Texas, as I’ve been traveling around the state of Wyoming, talking to seniors, visiting with them, asking about their needs.

“They have great concerns about what is happening with this health care law to the point that this week the House of Representatives is actually working in a bipartisan way to repeal this board, these unelected Washington-appointed bureaucrats.

“To me, it's the commission that's going to ration seniors' care and make it harder for our seniors to see a health care provider and get the care that they need.

“And I know Senator Cornyn is leading the effort in the Senate to work with the House in an effort to repeal this.  And I know, Senator Cornyn, you're doing this in an effort to protect our seniors, to make sure our seniors get the care they need.

“With seniors already having trouble getting in to see a physician, this has a significant impact when a board, an independent payment advisory board, 15 unelected bureaucrats decide they're going to decide how much to pay for a doctor's visit, how much they're going to pay a hospital for bypass surgery or for a hip replacement, which is an area of my specialty.

“If the reimbursement is so low for a procedure that is primarily, if not exclusively done on people of Medicare age, and you can think of those things more likely to happen with people over the age of 65, the hospital may ultimately decide that we cannot continue to afford to provide those services and keep the doors open to the hospital.

“So, the seniors in a community will then be denied access to care in their own community because the hospital will no longer do or provide that service, whether it's bypass heart surgery, whether it's total joint replacement.

“We need to make sure that Medicare is there and secure for the current generation as well as the next generation, generations to com.   And my concern is that this board that I know you're trying to repeal, I’m trying to repeal, is going to make it that much harder for our seniors to receive the care that they need, the doctor that they want, at a cost that they can afford.”

Excerpts of Senator Cornyn’s remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate:

“It seems to me that what the intent is behind this independent payment advisory board and the President's health care law, is to try to contain health care costs and spending by the federal government.

“It strikes me that as in a lot of the policy debates we have here in Washington in Congress, we all agree that we need to do something to contain costs, but we disagree about the means to achieve that affordability that we all know we need and to contain the inflation of health care costs.

“Rather than have Congress outsource its responsibility in this area to an unelected, unaccountable group of 15 bureaucrats from which there is no appeal and which would have the consequence, as you say, of limiting people's access because if all you're going to do is cut provider payments to hospitals and doctors, then fewer and fewer doctors and hospitals are going to be able to see those patients.

“To me, perhaps a model even where seniors have a choice between competing health care plans, where they get their prescription drugs, but because of the choices that they have and the natural competition that occurs, you get market forces disciplining costs.

“It strikes me that that's one of the missing elements here with this outsourcing of this responsibility to this unelected, unaccountable group of bureaucrats where the only thing they try to do is cut provider payments.

“I think we can today just say, if we can work together in a bipartisan way to repeal the IPAB requirement—and Senator Reid is the only one, as the Majority Leader, who can bring it to the floor, but hopefully because of the bipartisan support it has gotten on the House floor, I hope we can encourage him to do that and help ensure that people when they qualify for Medicare just don't get a card but actually have a good chance, or I should say, better than a good chance; they will be able to find a doctor who will treat them for the price that the government is willing to pay.”


March 2012 News Releases