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25 Members of Congress File Brief in Support of Challenge to Independent Payment Advisory Board

December 12, 2014

Washington (12/4/2014)—Today 25 members of Congress filed a “friend of the court” brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a legal challenge to the Independent Payment Advisory Board created by the Affordable Care Act. The members of Congress are supporting a legal challenge filed by the Goldwater Institute.

The Independent Payment Advisory Board is an appointed 15-member board created to set reimbursement rates for Medicare and to determine which procedures, treatments and drugs will and will not be covered by the government program that pays for the medical treatment of more than 48 million Americans. Independent Payment Advisory Board decisions cannot be challenged in court and the law attempts to limit the repeal of the Board itself to a short window in 2017. Never in American history has another board been created with such broad authority to impact government rulemaking that cannot be challenged in court or repealed.

Representative Phil Roe, M.D., (R-TN) has been leading the effort to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board with bipartisan legislation. His bills have passed the House, but have not been considered in the Senate. If a bill repealing the Board passed the Senate next year, it’s likely President Obama would veto it.

“That’s why it’s so important that the Supreme Court take this case now,” said Darcy Olsen, president of the Goldwater Institute. “We don’t have time to wait for another president to be elected. If the Independent Payment Advisory Board isn’t stopped before it has a chance to put recommendations in place, it will be too late.”

“As a physician with more than 30 years of experience, I find the ability of this Board to intervene in the relationship doctors have with their patients alarming,” said Dr. Roe. “I have serious concerns that this unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy could have a devastating impact on seniors’ access to care, and I hope the Court will hear this case.”

Twenty-five members of Congress signed onto the brief to support the Goldwater Institute’s case: Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), Sen. Tob Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI), Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Rep. Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (R-AZ), Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R- MS), Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), Rep, Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA), and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL).

Click here to read the Members’ brief filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation.

The Supreme Court will decide to hear the case by June 30, 2015.

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To schedule an interview with Christina Sandefur, please contact Starlee Coleman at the Goldwater Institute at scoleman@goldwaterinstitute.org .  If you are affiliated with a national network, the Goldwater Institute has an in-house VideoLink studio for rapid cable hook-up at no cost, and can make Institute spokespeople available for live in-person interviews upon request.

 

 

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