The House passed a bill on Thursday that repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board which was created by Obamacare to cut Medicare if it spends too much, reports The Washington Examiner.
The bill had always been the source of anger for many Republicans and some Democrats, but the House voted 307-111 to remove the panel that takes away congressional authority over entitlement spending.
This bill got a lot of support from Democrats, but it faces an uncertain fate in the Senate. Representatives like Phil Roe (R-TN) are optimistic though that the bill will be taken down.
“As soon as we see what kind of vote we get here I will contact the Senate folks,” Roe said before the vote Thursday. “I am excited about it. I think this is the best chance I have had since 2010.”
IPAB was established in Obamacare to rein in spending under Medicare. If Medicare spending reaches a certain level, IPAB meets to develop automatic cuts to the program. If Congress doesn’t come up with an alternative, then those cuts would go into immediate effect.
Medicare has not overspent at this point, and the panel has not had a reason to come together. Medicare is about four years away from the threshold that would trigger a meeting from the IPAB.
Democrats are claiming that this is just another attempt by the Republicans to chip away at Obamacare after congressional repeal efforts faltered in the Senate.
A debate broke out on the floor ahead of the vote for if the board was necessary to cut back on healthcare spending. Representative Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said the vote was an “effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act piece by piece.”
“What we are seeing is Republicans sabotaging the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “They couldn’t repeal it so now they are sabotaging it.”
Republicans referred to the board as a “death panel,” saying it would take away medical care from seniors.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., who co-sponsored the bill, said on the House floor that it left decisions about healthcare spending to “unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.”
“Let’s get rid of it, nobody wants it,” he said.