Thursday, January 31, 2013

Only Two Arizona Congresspeople Co-Sponsor Measure To Repeal 'Obamacare's' IPAB; Seven Democrats Sign On

Two surprises pop up in the list of 100 co-sponsors to the newly-introduced measure in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board portion of "Obamacare".  First is that only half of Arizona's GOP delegation signed on.  On a national political note, seven Democrats attached their names to the short measure.

 Reps. Trent Franks (R-CD8) and Paul Gosar (R-CD4) are the two members of the Arizona GOP delegation to co-sponsor it.

Arizona's Politics wrote the following paragraph about the IPAB (also referenced as the Independent Medicare Advisory Board) last year, in the context of a Fact Check - Republicans have attacked it repeatedly, dating back (at least) to Sarah Palin's well-publicized comments:

The "board of unelected bureaucrats in charge" has some basis in fact but is very misleading.  The law does set up the Independent Medicare Advisory Board, which is what the ad is apparently alluding to.  However, the board is neither "unelected bureaucrats" nor "in charge."  The IMAB will be made up of people from many different walks of life and specialties - including health insurance companies, employers, consumers and the elderly - they are appointed by the President with input from leaders of both parties in each house of Congress, and they have term limits.  (Read pages 502-504 of the PPACA.)  In addition, any proposals that this Board comes up with are submitted to Congress for consideration, and they cannot propose reducing Medicare payment rates before 2018. (Read pages 491 forward, at the link above.)
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That seven Democrats signed on to the repeal proposal may be even more surprising.  Those Democrats are Reps. Timothy Bishop (NY), Donna Christensen (Virgin Islands), Joe Courtney (CT), Jim Matheson (UT), Linda Sanchez (CA), Allyson Schwartz (PA), and Michael Capuano (MA).  (We have not analyzed these Representatives' past positions or the make-ups of their districts.)

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