A measure that combined two Republican healthcare priorities easily passed the House of Representatives on Thursday on a vote of 223-181.
The bill would repeal the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board authorized by the 2010 federal healthcare overhaul and it would create federal malpractice liability limits. Republicans have long targeted the Medicare panel, which is charged with cutting the program to control costs starting in 2015.
“In order to maintain Medicare, to preserve it, to make sure it is there and serve the needs that seniors have, there are changes that we will have to make but those are changes that should be made in an accountable fashion,” Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), a former hospital administrator, said at a post-vote news conference. “We are preventing turning the keys over future Medicare decisions over to a group of unelected individuals who are accountable to no one.”