Issue Report ● Health Care
For Immediate Release: 
March 18, 2010
Contact Info: 

Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130

There has been some effort to mischaracterize the CBO estimate of health care legislation to suggest that the reconciliation bill weakens IPAB because the savings attributed to Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) are lower than in the Senate bill.

This is false. The reconciliation bill does not make any changes to the IPAB provisions as passed by the Senate.

CBO has lowered the estimate of the savings that IPAB would achieve because the reconciliation bill includes additional Medicare reforms to achieve savings and reduce the growth of Medicare spending. CBO scored the IPAB provisions as achieving savings because it would be required to recommend additional savings in order to hold the growth of Medicare spending to the average of CPI and Medical CPI. The reconciliation bill does not change the growth targets for IPAB or the ability of IPAB to achieve savings in any way. Because the reconciliation achieves more in Medicare savings than the Senate-passed bill (PPACA) and includes some of the reforms CBO assumed IPAB would implement, IPAB will have to do less to achieve the same savings targets that were in the Senate-passed bill. In short, Congress decided to make more of the tough choices to control Medicare spending in the reconciliation bill instead of leaving them for the Board to make in the future.