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The House on Thursday afternoon approved legislation that would repeal a government board tasked with finding Medicare savings, and institute medical tort reform across the country.

Members approved H.R. 5, the Protecting Access to Healthcare (PATH) Act, by a 223-181 vote in which only seven Democrats supported the bill and 10 Republican opposed.

In Wednesday’s six-hour debate on the bill, several Democrats said they support IPAB repeal along with Republicans, because they fear the board could recommend Medicare cuts without having to gauge the opinion of Congress. But they chaffed at the tort reform language that, among other things, would impose a nationwide limit of $250,000 in punitive damages in medical lawsuits.

But Republicans noted that IPAB repeal has bipartisan support, and said tort reform is a much-needed addition to help control federal healthcare spending.

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