Tucked in among the hundreds of pages of the Congressional budget signed into law last week are a few paragraphs that Americans United for Life has been working for years to make reality. The short lines repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB – an incredible victory for all Americans.
If you recall, IPAB is that pernicious bureaucratic body created by the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) statute, composed of 15 unelected officials who have the power, and (until now) the Congressional mandate, to make “suggestions” to Congress on how to control costs under Medicare. Now for the tricky part – if those “suggestions” were not explicitly disapproved by Congress, they would have gone into effect with the force of law. That could have included limits on care based on age, condition, or even “futility of care.”
AUL flatly rejects the existence of this unaccountable authority and believes that individuals impacted by Medicare decisions, particularly those needing end of life care, deserve to have their voices heard and their desires respected in the decision making process. AUL has achieved small victories through temporary delays of the implementation of IPAB over the years. Now, those victories are permanent.
Bradley N. Kehr
Government Affairs Counsel