Two years ago, the Supreme Court upheld part of the Obama administration’s massive overhaul of the nation’s health care industry. However, that decision addressed only one of the many constitutional flaws in the 2,000-page Obamacare act, and many other problems have yet to be addressed. A new petition will be filed Wednesday, asking the court to review the most sweeping government power grab in the law.
The case, Coons v. Lew, involves the unaccountable health care rationing agency that the act establishes. The Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, is charged with controlling Medicare costs. To achieve that goal, the law gives IPAB broad authority to implement price controls, levy taxes and take whatever action its members consider “related to the Medicare program.” The law makes this group of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats immune from control by the president, Congress or the courts.
That may seem an exaggeration, but it’s not. The law requires IPAB to publish annual “recommendations” for controlling Medicare spending — but those “recommendations” automatically become law without the president’s signature, and the law bars Congress from stopping them unless Congress presents an alternative plan that can meet IPAB’s spending reductions. In fact, the law even prohibits Congress from abolishing IPAB outside of a short window in 2017. Even then, repeal must be supported by an unprecedented supermajority. Perhaps most brazen, it blocks the courts from reviewing IPAB decisions. In short, IPAB represents the most extreme consolidation of government power in American history.