For the past year, Democrats have been mostly united on health care issues, especially in the face of Republican efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s landmark law. But this week, House Republicans plan to fire their opening salvos against the Independent Payment Advisory Board — an issue on which Democrats are far from united.
New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, of the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, has zero interest in defending the board.
“I’ve never supported it, and I would certainly be in favor of abolishing it,” he told POLITICO. “I’m opposed to independent commissions or outside groups playing a role other than on a recommendatory basis.”
Their disagreements indicate how hard it will be for the reform law’s supporters to show a united front when Republicans attack the board. In recent weeks, several health reform supporters — such as the American Medical Association, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania — have voiced support for a Republican plan to repeal the measure.