January 31,2017

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Taylor Harvey (202) 224-4515 

Wyden Pushes to Block Fast-Track Cuts to Medicare

Resolution and Bill Blocking IPAB Would Prevent Administration from Rushing Through Harmful Policies to Undermine Medicare

WASHINGTON Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced a resolution and a bill that would prevent the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) process from moving forward. The resolution comes before the Feb. 1 statutory deadline required to discontinue the process.

“Given the Trump administration’s short but disturbing record of irresponsible and cruel executive actions, it would be a huge mistake to leave in place the authority to push through harmful cuts to Medicare with minimal input from Congress,” Wyden said. “The president has picked people to lead his health care team at HHS, including Congressman Tom Price, who have long records of supporting policies that would shift cost to seniors and other vulnerable Americans. I am deeply concerned about their commitment to the promise of Medicare – a promise of guaranteed health benefits for seniors and vulnerable Americans who count on it.”

Independent Payment Advisory Board, commonly referred to as IPAB, was set up under the Affordable Care Act to make recommendations to reduce Medicare spending if it exceeds a certain target. The ACA allows for a one-time, fast-track process to discontinue the entire IPAB process, but it requires that a joint resolution be introduced no later than February 1, 2017.

Wyden introduced both a resolution, as prescribed by statute, as well as a bill to unwind IPAB. The resolution takes advantage of a one-time opportunity to discontinue the process, whereas the bill repeals IPAB in full.

The resolution can be found here. The bill can be found here.