Finally! A Congressional Action to Lower Healthcare Costs!

  • by: |
  • 12/20/2011

Some important items courtesy of the good folks at BioCentury:

Finally – a Congressional action that will lower healthcare cost:

IPAB budget slashed

The appropriations bill passed last week by Congress cut 2012 funding for the Independent Payment Advisory Board by $10 million to $5 million. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created IPAB and gives it authority to recommend steps to cut Medicare costs if spending exceeds specific triggers. The recommendations would go into force automatically unless Congress overruled them by a two-thirds vote and enacted other cuts of equivalent size.

IPAB has been criticized by members of both parties. Republicans said IPAB would lead to healthcare rationing. Democrats said they oppose IPAB because it usurps congressional authority.

Understanding the importance of medical technology after-the-fact

Senators introduce device bill

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) introduced the Medical Device Patient Safety Act, which would allow FDA to require postmarketing studies for medical devices approved via the 510(k) process. The proposed legislation would give FDA the authority to revoke a device's approval if postmarketing studies are not conducted. Grassley said the legislation should be included in the reauthorization of MDUFA next year.

And prepare for March Madness

Supreme Court sets March date for healthcare challenges

The U.S. Supreme Court scheduled three days in March to hear challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the constitutionality of the law's individual insurance mandate. The court allocated five and a half hours spread across March 26, 27 and 28. On March 26, the court will consider a procedural question on whether the mandate challenge is barred by the Anti-Injunction Act. On March 27, the court will hear arguments on the mandate's constitutionality. On March 28, the court will consider whether the mandate, if found to be unconstitutional, can be severed from the rest of PPACA or if the entire law must be struck down. Later that day, the court will hear a challenge to PPACA's expansion of Medicaid to cover individuals with income of up to 133% of the federal poverty level.

The challenges are taken from three separate cases: National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius, et al.; Florida, et al. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al.; and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al. v. Florida, et al.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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