Madam Chair, I rise in opposition to this amendment, which would simply delay the implementation of what we know is a cost-savings measure for so many millions of seniors and so many millions of Americans, not just seniors.
Madam Chair, today we will vote to repeal one of PPACA’s most harmful provisions, the Independent Payment Advisory Board. IPAB is emblematic of the two very different visions held by Republicans and Democrats about the path to quality care and how to control costs in our health care system.
Madam Chair, the President and his party want a centralized board of bureaucrats to control decisions about how health care is allocated to our nation’s seniors. He proposes to restrict health care choices in order to lower costs.
Madam Chair, our American system of free enterprise, innovation and ingenuity has made our health care centers the best in the world. Our doctors transform dire health care conditions into promising outcomes and healthy lives. We produce the world's lifesaving drugs, disease prevention regimens, biologics, and devices.
But IPAB hamstrings the best available care for our seniors by imposing artificial constraints, arbitrary constraints on costs.
Neither the President nor Congressional Democrats have proposed a solution to strengthen Medicare.
Instead, the President gives fifteen bureaucrats the power to make fundamental decisions about the care that seniors will have access to. Not to be deterred, the President has proposed expanding this board numerous times over the past year, vastly growing the board's scope and ability to fix prices and ultimately ration care for our nation’s seniors.
Madam Chair, the President and I do agree on this: the current Medicare reimbursement system is broken. But we do not need a board of unelected bureaucrats to control costs. As we have proposed today, there is a better path forward.
During the health care debate the President agreed with our nation's doctors that defensive medicine practices are driving up costs. Yet, meaningful medical liability reform was not included the 2,000 page health care law.
Madam Chair, as my colleagues have proposed today, we can model medical liability reforms on state-based laws. California, Texas and Virginia have all implemented working solutions that drive down the cost of care. We can even propose more creative medical liability reform solutions. We are always open to new ideas and suggestions, but not delay.
Moving forward with common sense medical liability reforms will mean that doctors can continue serving patients. It means that injured patients will be compensated more quickly and fairly. It means health care costs will go down. Madam Chair, you don't need a new rationing board to save $3 billion.
You simply need to enact liability reform policies that are so common sense that states like California and others have had them on the books for decades.
When the entire medical community stands opposed to an idea, I would hope that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle and the President would listen. ObamaCare’s IPAB is not the solution our seniors are expecting us to deliver. Our seniors deserve better.
Madam Chair, I thank Dr. Phil Roe, gentleman from Tennessee, and Dr. Phil Gingrey, gentleman from Georgia, for sponsoring the PATH Act. I’d like to recognize Chairman Fred Upton, Chairman Dave Camp and Chairman Lamar Smith for working to strengthen Medicare for our seniors. Under their leadership, our House Committees are advancing policies that will deliver the quality of health care the American people deserve.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)
March 22, 2012