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National Grange Disappointed with Statements on IPAB

By Amanda Brozana, National Grange Press Release (4/14/11)

  APRIL 19, 2011 --

The National Grange, the nation’s oldest nonprofit, nonpartisan agriculture and rural America advocacy group, has announced their strong disappointment in President Barack Obama’s statements yesterday that showed his continuing commitment to the establishment of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

IPAB, a presidentially-appointed 15-person board that would be charged with reducing Medicare costs should the operating cost of the program exceed the rate of inflation, was created with the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010.

National Grange President Ed Luttrell, of Sandy, Oregon, said the organization opposes the creation of IPAB because the board would be unchecked by Congress or any other branch of government, and would likely have a disproportionate impact on rural America.

“Rural America is far more sensitive to cuts in Medicare than urban and suburban communities. There are twice as many Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in rural areas across this country than there are in urban areas,” Luttrell said. “I realize that we have a spending problem here in Washington, and that Medicare spending will be affected, however I want to make sure that our elected officials are at the table when these critical decisions are made, rather than an appointed board. When we start taking our locally elected, congressional representation out of the process, I grow concerned that we lose our rural voice.”

Established in 1867, the National Grange has about 200,000 members across 37 states.

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