GOP calls for elimination of Medicare payment advisory board

GOP Congressional leaders have urged the Obama Administration to eliminate a board empowered with keeping an eye on Medicare costs in the wake of healthcare reform, reports American Medical News.

The Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board is set to begin meeting in 2013, mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to recommend cuts that should take place if Medicare spending exceeds general consumer and medical inflation. Its recommendations would take effect unless they are overruled by majorities in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. However, Republican lawmakers believe the board would take powers away from Congress.

"We believe more strongly now than ever that the president should lead, and the best way to do that is by repealing this board that was created in the health law and replacing it with serious ideas to reform our unsustainable entitlement programs," Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in a joint statement.

The American Medical Association also objects to the board, claiming it would adversely impact payments to its membership.

For more information:
- read the American Medical News article
- check out this Wall Street Journal Health Blog post