House members are expected to vote next week on a medical liability reform bill that includes language to repeal the health reform law's Independent Payment Advisory Board, House Republican aides say.
When they return to Capitol Hill after a weeklong recess, House members will consider the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011, a bill introduced last year by Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and David Scott (D-Ga.). That bill calls for capping punitive damages in healthcare lawsuits to $250,000 or two times the amount of economic damages awarded, whichever is greater. But the bill that House members will vote on next week also includes the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act of 2012, legislation that would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provision that calls for a 15-member panel responsible for restricting Medicare cost growth. Two House committees—Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means—have approved the IPAB repeal bill.