“Death Panel” Repeal Passes House With Democrat Support
Another step towards getting rid of the IPAB has been achieved:
The House on Thursday afternoon approved legislation that would repeal a government board tasked with finding Medicare savings, and institute medical tort reform across the country.
Members approved H.R. 5, the Protecting Access to Healthcare (PATH) act, by a 223-181 vote in which only seven Democrats supported the bill and ten Republican opposed.
Of course, the Democrats didn’t like the idea of capping the damages that their trial-lawyer supporters can collect on malpractice claims.
In Wednesday’s six-hour debate on the bill, several Democrats said they support IPAB repeal along with Republicans, since they fear the board could recommend Medicare cuts without having to gauge the opinion of Congress. But they chaffed at the tort reform language that, among other things, would impose a nation-wide limit of $250,000 in punitive damages in medical law suits.
It’s unlikely that the Senate will take this up, because Harry Reid is probably worried that several Democratic senators might vote to repeal. Maybe if the Senate GOP discovered a secret cache of backbones they’d push for it, but that’s also unlikely.