The House repealed another provision of ObamaCare today, just a day before the healthcare law’s two-year anniversary and four days before the mandate comes before the Supreme Court.
The lower chamber voted 223-181 to pass the Protecting Access to Healthcare (PATH) Act, which repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is a committee of 15 federal employees that would be able to make major cuts to Medicare.
The PATH Act also implements medical liability reforms in an effort to cut down on frivolous lawsuits.
“Today’s vote to repeal the IPAB ensures that decisions over medical care are made by patients and their doctors rather than a panel of unelected and unaccountable government officials in Washington, D.C.,” said House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). “Despite roadblocks in the Senate, Republicans remain committed to repealing Obamacare and replacing the President’s health care law with common-sense solutions that curb costs, expand access to care, and eliminate unfair and unconstitutional mandates and penalties.”
He noted that a Harvard study said that 40 percent of medical malpractice suits in the U.S. are filed “without merit” and that the Congressional Budget Office estimates the reforms will cut the deficit by more than $45 billion over the next decade.
“IPAB is one of Obamacare’s most onerous provisions, but is hardly the only one,” said Rep. Jeff Flake. (R-Ariz.). “I’m pleased that the House has moved to repeal IPAB but, ultimately, Obamacare needs to be repealed completely.”
“As Democrats cling to IPAB as their plan for Medicare, we will continue to advance patient-centered solutions that actually address the fundamental challenges facing this vital program while protecting seniors’ access to quality and affordable health and retirement security,” said Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), one of the doctors in the Republican caucus.