The head of the state's biotech industry organization is raising concerns that creation of a federally mandated board could stifle the sector's growth in Connecticut.
In an opinion piece written for CT News Junkie, Paul Pescatello, president of CURE (Connecticut United for Research Excellence), forecast damaging consequences from the formation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to oversee Medicare costs.
"There’s no doubt that healthcare spending in this country needs to be reined in," he writes. "But putting those decisions in the hands of a board of people whose proposals will automatically become law unless Congress acts, and who will not be subject to oversight from the Federal courts or Congress is not in the best interests of the American people."
Established as part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the IPAB will have 15 full time members appointed by the President.
Pescatello, who also chairs the New England Biotech Association, urged the region's congressional delegation to support repeal of the IPAB legislation.
"The threat of cuts to Medicare makes it more difficult for the funding of innovation to continue," he wrote. "Investment and innovation go hand in hand. Developing treatments for chronic conditions can be expensive in the short term, but ultimately lower costs for patient treatment.
"IPAB is not set up to take that sort of long term thinking into account. That could lead to a reduction in innovation, care and positive health outcomes for millions of Americans."