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Cochran, Wicker join forces to nix Obamacare panel

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) have announced their support for legislation to dismantle an Obamacare panel with the authority to cut Medicare payments.


Cochran and Wicker are original cosponsors of the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (S.260), which would repeal the law authorizing this Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).  The IPAB was established under the Affordable Care Act to cut Medicare payments to physicians and service providers.


“Solvency of the Medicare program is important, but it should not be left to an independent board operating without transparency or accountability.  Payment cuts implemented by this board could further exacerbate problems of patient access to physicians in rural states like Mississippi,” Cochran said.


“This advisory board – much like Obamacare – was a bad idea from the start,”Wicker said.  “It gave too much power to unelected bureaucrats and put seniors and health-care providers at risk.  Repealing this Obamacare board would help safeguard the American people from yet another one of the many harmful consequences from the health-care law.”


S.260 was introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) as part of the renewed effort to repeal Obamacare.  The legislation would permanently revoke the Obamacare provisions that created the IPAB.  The bill would ensure that IPAB directives could not be automatically implemented if Medicare exceeds spending caps set in Obamacare.  The spending cap could be reached this year, according to the Medicare Board of Trustees.


The legislation has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

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