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AMA Tells Congress: IPAB Would Hurt Patients’ Access to Care and Should be Repealed

For immediate release:
Feb. 27, 2012

Washington, D.C.The American Medical Association (AMA) today sent a letter to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in support of H.R. 452, legislation that was introduced by U.S. Representative Phil Roe (R-TN) to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The AMA told Congress that the IPAB would add to the problems caused by the current physician payment formula, which is plaguing Medicare and the TRICARE military health care program with frequently scheduled cuts.

"Seniors and military families who rely on Medicare and TRICARE are already dealing with instability caused by a broken physician payment formula that Congress is struggling to eliminate," said AMA President Peter W. Carmel, M.D. "We have made it clear to Congress that the IPAB is another arbitrary system that could make the same dangerous type of overall cuts."

In the letter, the AMA cautioned that the IPAB would be an independent body with far too little accountability charged with making important health care payment decisions. This body could implement harmful, across-the-board cuts that would adversely affect access to health care for millions of patients.

"Congress should not make the same mistake again. Instead of relying on another formula that imposes across-the-board cuts that we know do not work, members of Congress should be taking steps to strengthen Medicare for patients, physicians and taxpayers," said Dr. Carmel.



Heather Lasher Todd
AMA Media Relations

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