In Wednesday night’s presidential debate, Mitt Romney claimed that ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board is “an unelected board that’s going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have.”
President Obama officially denies it, yet he confirmed Romney’s claim when he said, “what this board does is basically identifies best practices and says, let’s use the purchasing power of Medicare and Medicaid to help to institutionalize all these good things that we do.”
In this excerpt from his column in today’s The Washington Post, George F. Will quotes my coauthor Diane Cohen and me to show that IPAB is even worse than Romney claimed:
The Independent Payment Advisory Board perfectly illustrates liberalism’s itch to remove choices from individuals, and from their elected representatives, and to repose the power to choose in supposed experts liberated from democratic accountability.Beginning in 2014, IPAB would consist of 15 unelected technocrats whose recommendations for reducing Medicare costs must be enacted by Congress by Aug. 15 of each year. If Congress does not enact them, or other measures achieving the same level of cost containment, IPAB’s proposals automatically are transformed from recommendations into law. Without being approved by Congress. Without being signed by the president.
These facts refute Obama’s Denver assurance that IPAB “can’t make decisions about what treatments are given.” It can and will by controlling payments to doctors and hospitals. Hence the emptiness of Obamacare’s language that IPAB’s proposals “shall not include any recommendation to ration health care.”
By Obamacare’s terms, Congress can repeal IPAB only during a seven‐month window in 2017, and then only by three‐fifths majorities in both chambers. After that, the law precludes Congress from ever altering IPAB proposals.
Because IPAB effectively makes law, thereby traducing the separation of powers, and entrenches IPAB in a manner that derogates the powers of future Congresses, it has been well described by a Cato Institute study as “the most anti‐constitutional measure ever to pass Congress.”
Our paper is titled, “The Independent Payment Advisory Board: PPACA’s Anti‐Constitutional and Authoritarian Super‐Legislature.” It broke the news that, as Will writes, ObamaCare “precludes Congress from ever altering IPAB proposals” after 2017.