Top Republican leaders on Capitol Hill told President Obama on Thursday they will not nominate anyone to serve on a body tasked with finding savings in the Medicare program — a board that was derided by critics as a “death panel” during the debate over health care reform in 2010.
House Speaker John A. Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s objections to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) are one part of congressional Republicans’ continuing battle against Mr. Obama’s health care reforms.
In a letter to the White House, the GOP leaders said the IPAB set up by “Obamacare” would consist of 15 “unelected, unaccountable individuals” who could diminish seniors’ access to health care.
“In order to allow supporters to claim that the law’s Medicare cuts would be realized in the future, [the law] tasked IPAB with reducing payments to providers or eliminating payments for certain treatments and procedures altogether,” they wrote. “These reduced payments will force providers to stop seeing Medicare patients, the same way an increased number of doctors have stopped taking Medicaid patients.”