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FEDERAL | IPAB Advances in the House, Senate Budgets

The House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act of 2017, which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said that House Republicans are working to attach IPAB repeal to funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This move, however, could complicate reauthorization of CHIP, a program that generally has broad bipartisan support.

The Senate Budget Committee also approved by voice vote an IPAB repeal amendment, offered by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), to the Senate fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget resolution. The Senate budget was advanced out of committee but must still be passed by the full Senate. A conference committee would then convene to address the differences between the House- and Senate-passed budget resolutions.

According to House sponsor Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-Tenn.), the bill still faces serious challenges due to the estimated $7 billion cost of repealing IPAB. Rep. Roe noted that without pay-fors, the bill faces an uphill battle despite bipartisan support for the issue.

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