Pitts chairs hearing on Medicare oversight

U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts (R-16).

WASHINGTON, D. C. – Today, Rep. Joe Pitts (PA-16) chaired a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee investigating the new Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board. Last year’s Affordable Care Act created the IPAB in order to control Medicare spending.

The IPAB is a 15-member board of health care experts that are directed by the law to restrain spending. The board’s recommendations to cut Medicare reimbursements can only be overturned by a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate and cannot be challenged in court by seniors.

Today’s hearing featured testimony from lawmakers, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, doctors, and health care experts.

Rep. Pitts’ statement follows:

“Last year’s health care law created a new board of 15 bureaucrats to manage Medicare spending, the Independent Payment Advisory Board. Seniors and doctors will have little to no say in the decisions made by this board. It will even be difficult for Congress to overrule their decisions. Simply put, this board will be unaccountable to the people or to elected officials.

“At the same time that the IPAB is directed by law to limit the growth of Medicare spending, they are restricted in what areas of service they can cut. This will mean rationed care in certain areas of Medicare. Doctors may not be able to continue providing services meaning longer waiting times for patients.

“Many Democrats agree with Republicans that IPAB should be repealed. I hope that we can come together across the aisle and stop this unaccountable and possibly unconstitutional board from taking power away from the people’s representatives.”

Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) testified regarding their legislation to repeal the section of the law creating IPAB. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), the Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee, also opposes IPAB clearly saying at today’s hearing, “We don’t need IPAB.”

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  1. Brian says:

    Greedy for profit CEO’s? Get a clue,
    Business is about Profit. If there is no profit, there is no busines. If there is no business there are no jobs. Or we could go the Obama route and make business the enemy and.Have a socialist state….Except it has never worked throughout history. Unless you like USSR, CUBA and other socialist states which were great freedom loving countries…killing thousands of innocents…

    Unfortunately, Westerrn Europe’s growth of Socialism/Liberalism has has been provided by the security of the United States since WWII. Doesn’t seem to working that well…Following any socialist policy of Europe is a Disaster. Our Capitalist society and Freedom has been the engine that has made the U.S a superpower while all others have follwed Socialism which eventually leads to Communism.(The Ash heap of history..)
    Remember, our country. was founded upon resistance from a 3% tax from our British Allies.

  2. steve says:

    Gee Ray, instead of bureaucrats sitting on the death panels, let’s keep what we have now….greedy, for profit directors and CEO’s sitting on them making decisions based on the almighty dollar. How ’bout care for all, so no one has to be deemed “not fit for health services”???
    Good having Pitts sit in on this…the guy that recently voted against $20 million additional dollars being added to veterans services for suicide counsuling for returning combat servicemen and women. He votes to send them over there, and denies them support when and if they make it out alive??? There’s your death panel right there…Joe Pitts!!!!!

  3. Ray Farrell says:


    Despite the generational theft and failures of the “great society”, Obama is content to double-down on this proven-failed cockamamie kansean pyramid scheme of raising taxes to create jobs and to pay for more government largess. This has never worked and never will. As Obama expands and rewards his loyal entitlement base, our children and future generations will get stuck paying the bill. With 5 percent of America’s top wage earners shouldering 59 percent of the federal income tax burden, and nearly half of all Americans paying NONE, it is clearly time to stop this big-government foolishness and do something that is tried-and-true: Limited constitutional government and open free markets.


    You are clearly blinded by the “great one’s” back-ground lighting. The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) disenfranchises the patient-doctor decision making relationship. Government bureaucrats in D.C. will decide what surgeries, procedures, medicines, etc will be funded based on what they think an individual’s value is to society. If you don’t think this is a death panel then I suggest you get buy some sunglasses.

    Ray Farrell
    Pocopson, PA

  4. Mike McGann says:

    Hey…let’s go easy with the name-calling, Turk. While your post makes some valid points, looks like you’re a little overheated, too.

    Criticize the idea, not the person.

  5. Turk182 says:

    Really, Ray? Really?

    You’re gonna trot out the “death panel” fiction? Really?

    And let’s see, who pushed the “Welfare state” to default through irresponsible tax cuts (wow, those worked to create jobs and build the economy, right?), a massive expansion of the government (supported by your heroes, Pitts and Gerlach) and turned a budget surplus into an $800 billion hole?

    Oh right, that was the Republicans in Congress — like Pitts and Gerlach — and George W. Bush. Gee, Ray, where was the outrage on this stuff, like Medicare Plan D, back in 2006?

    Or are you just another Fox News zombie? Must be shocking that your news heroes apparently were hacking the phones of 9/11 victims to sell newspapers, huh?

    The Democrats — and Obama — are just as full manure, mind you, but spare me this “oh, the evil Democrats and Obama ruined our country” crap.

    Both parties and lunkheaded extremists got us into this mess, and this overheated, moronic rhetoric ain’t gonna fix it.

    If you don’t know better, maybe you just haven’t been paying attention.

  6. Ray Farrell says:

    I applaud the bi-partisan effort to shut down the Obama-care death panels.

    As our failed welfare state goes into default, it is comforting to know there are Congressman like Joe Pitts and Jim Gerlach protecting our children from the likes of Pelosi, Reid, and the failed policies of Obama.

    Ray Farrell
    Pocopson, PA

  7. Kate says:

    So what is Joe Pitts’ plan for Medicare? Oh that’s right, it’s to get rid of the program completely and turn it into a privatized, for-profit voucher program. He (along with Jim Gerlach) recently voted in favor of the Ryan Plan, which would dismantle the medicare program as we know it and instead subsidize payments to private insurers, covering only a small, and increasingly smaller, portion of the cost for seniors. Good luck with that, senior citizens! Then, your care will be at the mercy of some nameless corporate bureaucrat whose only goal is to make a profit on your healthcare. Hmmmm… maybe we could put tax rates back to what they were under Reagan, end a few pointless wars, and use that money to fund Medicare properly.

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