Dem Senator: IPAB Needs to Be Revisited

November 13, 2013

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) expressed concerns over the Independent Payment Advisory Board – a controversial element of the Affordable Care Act – during a call-in session on C-SPAN Wednesday morning, saying the provision in the law "needs to be revisited":

CALLER: I want to know if Cardin read the bill, and if he could explain about the advisory board which is going to be established in 2014. The board can effectively edict certain mandates to the law and changes to the law without congressional action or approval and they cannot be challenged judicially by the constituents or the citizens of this country. In other words, they are going to be able to pass a law without authority, making congress irrelevant, which seems to be a blatant violation of our constitution. How could anybody with a clear conscience vote for that?

BEN CARDIN: I did read the bill and I share some of your concerns about that provision in the bill. The Affordable Care Act contains many provisions. I strongly supported the bill itself. But in terms of that particular provision, I agree, there are certain concerns that I have. The purpose of the board is to make sure that health care costs are maintained at a reasonable level and that there is an objective review of the payments made under the healthcare system. That was the main purpose of this board in its report. It comes into effect under certain circumstances. It has not been implemented yet, but it is a provision in the law that needs to be revisited to make sure the concerns you expressed do not occur.