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What is the IPAB?

The Independent Payment Advisory Board — or IPAB, for short — is a 15-person board created by the Affordable Care Act. It is arguably one of the more controversial parts of Obamacare because it gives unelected officials the authority to cut Medicare spending. What the board can’t do is equally important: the IPAB is not allowed to cut benefits out of the Medicare program. The board is only allowed to reduce the amount that the federal government reimburses for those benefits.

The IPAB doesn’t have any members right now because it only gets triggered when Medicare costs grow a percentage point faster than the rest of the economy. Health costs are currently growing at a slower rate than that threshold. Congress does have the authority to override IPAB’s recommendations, but does need a supermajority to do so.

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