CLSA Helps Lead Coalition Efforts to Repeal Disastrous Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)

Feb. 14, 2018
By Adam Lotspike

​This month (February 9), Congress passed and the President signed into law a full and permanent repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Eliminating the IPAB is critical for the continued success of California’s innovative life sciences sector, because the board could have harmed biomedical innovation by reducing incentives for investment in new research and product development. The repeal was included as a provision of the 2-year budget deal needed to avoid a government shutdown (H.R. 1892).

The IPAB was originally touted as a Medicare cost-cutting measure enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. The proposal called for a panel of outside experts to recommend Medicare savings to Congress if the ACA’s spending growth hit a designated threshold. That threshold was not reached and the panel was never formed, however the lack of congressional oversight of the panel and undefined measures by which savings could be achieved made the board a highly controversial proposal. Enacting the controversial advisory board would have threatened seniors’ access to care and potentially harmed biomedical innovation by reducing incentives for investment in new research and product development.

​Late last year, the House passed stand-alone legislation, H.R. 849 the Protecting Seniors Access to Medicare Act, to repeal the IPAB. Introduced by California Rep. Raul Ruiz, MD (D-Palm Desert) and Tennessee Republican Rep. Phil Roe, the measure passed by a margin of 307-111, with overwhelming support from the California congressional delegation. Notably, 30 bipartisan members of the California delegation voted for the bill, and the total yea count included 17 Democrats from our delegation, representing almost 23% of the total number of Democrats who voted for the bill. We are proud that 5 out of our 6 freshman delegation members voted in support of the bill (Reps. Barragan, Carbajal, Correa, Gomez, and Panetta). Click here to view CLSA’s press release applauding the House passage.

CLSA opposed the creation of the IPAB when it was first considered and enacted as part of the ACA in 2010, and has called for its repeal ever since. We are pleased to see that Congress has taken this important step to fully repeal the IPAB before it could do harm to America’s seniors and our innovative life sciences ecosystem. Questions? Please contact Jenny Carey, CLSA’s Vice President of Federal Government Relations & Alliance Development (