Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius acted as an ally to the left, speaking in support of the initiative.
However, Heartland’s Senior Fellow in health care, Avik Roy, was the first witness to follow Sebelius and testify against IPAB. To summarize, his testimony argued four distinct points:
1. Why Medicare is so expensive? Seniors have no incentive to shop for value.
2. We have three choices: underpaying providers, rationing care, or reforming cost-sharing. Reforming cost-sharing is the best way to curb spending growth while preserving high-quality care.
3. IPAB focuses on reducing provider payments, which is unlikely to work. Rather, it will reduce seniors’ access to doctors and health care services, worsening the quality of their care.
4. IPAB could be improved with a different mandate, but a better approach would be to move to a premium support model with stronger cost-sharing – having patient-centered health care.
Rep. Paul Ryan also spoke out feverishly against Sebeilus’ arguments, shedding light on the main difference in the IPAB debate – a majority of the left is arguing for a group of unelected officials to have free-reign authority over health care decisions, where the right maintains that the power should reside with patients.
You can view Rep. Ryan’s argument below & read more about Roy’s testimony here.