The House of Representatives is expected to vote next week on a measure (HR 5) that would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Both the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Ways and Means reported favorably on the measure.

The IPAB, established under the federal health reform law, would consist of 15 non-elected officials tasked with making annual recommendations to Congress if projected Medicare spending exceeds target growth rates. If growth rates exceed targets, the IPAB is required to recommend proposals to reduce Medicare spending by specified amounts, with the first set of recommendations due in 2014.

The bill would also set a $250,000 cap on punitive damages in malpractice suits, limit lawyer fees and establish other ways to rein in lawsuits against physicians.

Important issues like HR 5 demonstrate the value of contributing to the AASMPAC. The AASMPAC is a bi-partisan political action committee which assists in supporting sleep medicine-friendly legislators in their Congressional elections. This support opens doors for expressing our viewpoints and the need for and value of sleep care services for our individual patients, sleep care research and the sleep-related public health implications.

The AASMPAC provides the AASM to have a voice in Congress and allows us the opportunity work with other healthcare organization on important legislative issues. Members can contribute to the AASMPAC by going to our webpage at: