House Panel OKs Bill To Repeal Reform Law’s Payment Advisory Board
The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on Wednesday voted 17-5 to pass a bill (HR 452) that would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a 15-member panel created by the federal health reform law to make cost-cutting recommendations in Medicare, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Pecquet, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 2/29).
Two Democrats -- Reps. Frank Pallone (N.J.) and Edolphus Towns (N.Y.) -- joined the panel's GOP members in support of the Republican-sponsored bill, which has 17 Democratic co-sponsors in the House (Bade, CQ HealthBeat, 2/29).
The House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee is scheduled to consider a similar bill next week. Once the legislation passes through the full committees, it will be introduced on the House floor, where it is expected to pass. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) said he expects the bill to reach the floor by the end of March.
However, it is unclear whether the bill can pass in the Democrat-controlled Senate, National Journal reports (McCarthy, National Journal, 2/29). No Democratic senator has co-sponsored a version of the legislation, but many of them could face pressure to do so, according to The Hill's "Healthwatch" ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 2/29).
Administration Begins Search for Candidates
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday told a House committee that the Obama administration has begun considering candidates to serve on the Independent Payment Advisory Board, CQ HealthBeat reports.
However, Sebelius said during a House Ways and Means Committee meeting that the president's administration is starting early in order to find the best candidates. She added, "Vetting those folks is not an easy task because this must be a full-time job" (Adams, CQ HealthBeat, 2/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.