Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2015by Representative Christopher H. Smith
Posted on 2015-06-18
of new jersey
in the house of representatives
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, Medicare and Social Security
are our nation's sacred trusts with seniors and disabled Americans.
Senior citizens in New Jersey and
across the county have worked hard throughout their lives to provide
for their families and help build our communities, all while making
their fair and full contributions of taxes into the programs. It is our
duty to respect these sacrifices and ensure that programs continue to
deliver on promises made.
To that end, I was proud to cosponsor and support today's House passage of H.R. 1190, the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act of 2015. This bipartisan legislation would completely repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an unelected and unaccountable board of fifteen bureaucrats who would possess the power to determine what to pay doctors who provide critical treatments and services under Medicare.
Created under the fundamentally flawed and wildly unpopular Affordable Care Act (ACA)--or Obamacare--IPAB's recommendations would be considered under fast track procedures that would limit critical Congressional input and oversight. Whether or not it is called rationing, IPAB's mandated focus on short-term savings could result in deep cuts to physician payments and ultimately lead doctors to stop seeing Medicare beneficiaries--seriously undermining seniors' healthcare decision making process and jeopardizing their access to lifesaving and quality care.
The repeal of IPAB will allow Congress to continue focusing on policies to ensure that Medicare is sustainable for both current and future generations. Last week I was pleased to support four bills--H.R. 2505, H.R. 2507, H.R. 2570, and H.R. 2582--that strengthen and improve Medicare Advantage (MA). These bills will ensure increased transparency and accessibility to the popular MA program which provides millions of Medicare beneficiaries with affordable, comprehensive, and innovative care plans.
Medicare is an absolutely critical component for the delivery of affordable, quality healthcare services for American seniors--and I will continue to advocate for legislation that properly supports Medicare. Seniors and disabled individuals deserve better than an unelected board of bureaucrats that will only serve to cut payments, ultimately resulting in the denial of certain treatments and services and reduced access to care. Congress must remain focused on solutions that ensure Medicare is sustainable for current and future generations, and the repeal of IPAB is critical first step.