COLUMBIA, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- As Congress continues to battle the national deficit and seek ways to reduce spending, the South Carolina Medical Association (SCMA) called on the state’s Congressmen and Senators to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to protect patients, increase quality care and strengthen longer term spending priorities.
“There is no debating that spending in our country needs to be addressed, but IPAB is a far cry from the right answer,” said Gary A. Delaney, MD, current SCMA President. “Although it may be intended to reduce costs, it does so in the worst possible way – at the expense of patients – which will ultimately lead to poor public health, more medical procedures and a heavier burden on Medicare.”
IPAB is a panel of government officials that will have power to cut Medicare payments and have a dramatic impact on healthcare decisions. The IPAB, however, is an independent board with little accountability or oversight from elected officials.
Annual mandatory cuts could lead the controversial Board to slash promising long-term treatments in order to save in the short-term, stifling American innovation and dashing hope for a healthy future.
“IPAB essentially takes decisions that should be made by leaders who are accountable to voters and places them in the hands of government officials. As South Carolina’s elected officials in Congress debate solutions to the debt ceiling crisis, they should do everything in their power to eliminate IPAB and take steps to ensure the long-term viability of Medicare, not short term fixes,” said Todd Atwater, SCMA chief executive officer.
Currently, the U.S. House of Representatives is weighing legislation that would repeal the IPAB. The legislation has more than 150 co-sponsors. The SCMA has written letters to Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, asking them to advocate for similar legislation in the Senate. The SCMA is urging its membership of more than 6,000 statewide to contact Senators Graham and DeMint as well as their district’s U.S. Representative asking them to support a repeal of IPAB.
About the South Carolina Medical Association
The SCMA, comprised of more than 6,000 physicians, was founded in 1848 and is the voice of the medical profession in South Carolina. Its purpose is to support the efforts of South Carolina physicians and to advocate for quality medical care and good health on behalf of the citizens of South Carolina, as well as to represent and serve the interests of physicians.
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