In the Tuesday hearing, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to defend the IPAB, which Democrats added to the healthcare reform law in a move to contain Medicare costs, The Washington Times reported.
Critics contend the panel will make it harder for seniors to find healthcare providers willing to treat them. The National Republican Congressional Committee has called the panel a "board of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats."
"The whole thing is designed to take accountability from the politicians and give 15 people this power. We have seen lots of evidence through history that choice and competition works and price controlling doesn't work," Ryan said.
"Contrary to what some members have suggested, IPAB won't ration healthcare or raise costs for seniors," Sebelius said, arguing the panel would encourage doctors to cut costs and do more with less, the Times said.
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