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Controversy heats up over Medicare cost-cutting board

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The fight over who will be in charge of keeping Medicare costs in line heated up this week as two House committees held contentious hearings on the subject. Opponents of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a 15-member panel appointed by the president and authorized to cut Medicare spending when it rises above a certain level, say such decisions should be left to Congress.

The board was created as part of last year's health care reform overhaul, and is expressly forbidden from "rationing" care, raising premiums or reducing benefits. Savings would likely come from lowering payments to doctors or ...

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