In our latest round with Obamacare, Pacific Legal Foundation today filed a friend of the court brief in the Arizona federal district court in Coons v. Geithner, a case that challenges the constitutionality of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB. That’s the agency that, under the Obamacare law, will exercise virtually unchecked power to set Medicare reimbursement rates—without oversight by Congress, the President, or the courts. IPAB writes “recommendations” for cutting Medicare spending, which then are automatically enforced as law without any action by Congress; indeed, Congress is specifically barred from reversing or modifying these “recommendations” before they’re enforced. The only thing Congress can do is add further Medicare cuts—or, if it passes a special kind of resolution, it can abolish IPAB. But to such a resolution must be introduced between Jan. 3 and Feb. 1 of 2017, and must be passed—with 3/5 of all elected members of both houses—on or before Aug. 15, 2017. If that doesn’t happen, Congress loses even its power to add further Medicare cuts! Instead, at that point, IPAB will become permanent.
A board of “Platonic Guardians” to govern the health care system or some aspects of it. The cost of health care is spinning dangerously out of control….