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National Grange Applauds House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee for Approving IPAB-Repeal Legislation

By Amanda Brozana, National Grange Press Release (3/1/12)

  MARCH 1, 2012 --

On Tuesday, the National Grange commended the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee for approving H.R. 452, the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act, which acts to repeal IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board created by President Obama's PatientProtection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The Subcommittee approved the legislation, sending it to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for mark-up and allowing it passage to the House floor for a vote, seen as an important step in the process to finally repeal IPAB.

"The nature of the Independent Payment Advisory Board as an unchecked board of unelected presidential appointees seeking to find cost-cutting measures should a certain threshold of spending be reached by Medicare and Medicaid services, is something we strongly oppose," National Grange President Edward Luttrell said.

"Such a board, outside the jurisdiction of any branch of government oversight, is un-American and would likely have a disproportionate impact on rural America," Luttrell said.

Luttrell noted that rural Americans are "far more sensitive to cuts in Medicare than urban and suburban communities for many reasons, including the fact that there are twice as many Health Professional Shortage Areas in rural areas across this country than there are in urban areas."

Specifically, Luttrell said the establishment of such a board could mute rural voices. 

"Our elected officials must be at the table when these critical decisions are made, rather than an appointed board. When we start taking our locally elected, congressional representation out of the process, I grow concerned that we lose our rural voice," Luttrell said.

The IPAB, composed of 15 members appointed by the President, will have unprecedented power to make cost-cutting decisions if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projects Medicare spending will increase at a rate greater than inflation. The powers given to IPAB far exceed any other federally established institution and unlike any other branch of the U.S. Government, IPAB is unchecked by any other branch. Its repeal has become a bipartisan effort in Washington, with members from both sides of the aisle agreeing on its unconstitutional framework.

Established in 1867, The National Grange, a nonpartisan, nonprofit fraternal organization, is the oldest agricultural and rural community service organization. With about 2,200 local chapters, the Grange has evolved into the nationʼs leading rural advocacy organization and a major benefactor to local communities. There are more than 160,000 members across the United States. For more information on the National Grange, visit our website at www.nationalgrange.org.

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