New Policy Analysis of IPAB Highlights Constitutional Conflict


By Hadley Heath

The Cato Institute's Michael Cannon has teamed up with Goldwater's Diane Cohen to produce a new policy analysis of ObamaCare's Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the board established to reduce spending in Medicare.  The IPAB challenge is Coons v. Geithner.

Cohen and Cannon conclude:

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Independent Payment Advisory Board are not merely unconstitutional—they are anti-constitutional. The Board is an unelected and unaccountable lawmaking body. It possesses unprecedented power to make laws free of any meaningful oversight. It is “independent” in the worst sense of the word: independent of Congress, independent of the president, independent of the judiciary, and independent of the will of the people.

You can read their full analysis here. The authors review IPAB's vast powers, scope, secrecy, unaccountability, and even its anti-repeal provisions, which would deny future Congresses the ability to get rid of it. It is truly a super-legislature, made up of only 15 unelected bureaucrats, with power unheardof in the history of American government.  

It's true that containing Medicare's costs should be a priority. But an unaccountable, unconstitutional, or as Cohen and Cannon say, an "anti-constitutional" body of bureaucrats shouldn't be in control. A better approach would be Medicare reform that allows individuals to take more control over their health dollars.


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