(Wesley J. Smith/The Weekly Standard) – Obamacare “repeal and replace” may have failed this year, but that doesn’t mean the Affordable Care Act can’t be significantly defanged. For example, there is still time to excise the Independent Payment Advisory Board from the law before it is up and running.
IPAB’s stated purpose is to contain Medicare costs, a laudable goal. But the powers granted to the presidentially appointed and confirmed commissioners subvert democratic accountability and violate our constitutional system of separation of powers. They could, one day, be weaponized to implement invidious medical discrimination mandates—e.g., health-care rationing.
Unlike members of most bureaucratic boards, IPAB commissioners do not have to comply with such typical administrative procedures as obtaining public comment. Rather, when projected Medicare expenses exceed a given amount—which has not yet happened since Obamacare’s passage, hence its quiescence—IPAB is required to submit a cost-cutting proposal to Congress by the following January 15, which, in turn, must be introduced as enabling legislation without change by House and Senate majority leaders the same day it is received. CONTINUE