Authors: Obamacare Payment Board Will Have Unlimited Scope, Powers

Thursday, 20 Jun 2013 11:56 AM

By Lisa Barron

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The Independent Payment Advisory Board that is part of the Affordable Care Act will enact deep spending cuts in the Medicare program and is constitutionally suspect, says David Rivkin, a former Justice Department official.

"Obamacare's most disturbing feature may be the [payment advisory board]," Rivkin, now a partner at Baker Hostetler law firm, and Elizabeth Foley, a law professor at Florida International University, write in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal.

The board "threatens both the Medicare program and the Constitution's separation of powers," they say.

The panel will oversee a $500 billion budget to "develop detailed and specific proposals related to the Medicare program," including proposals to curb Medicare spending below a statutorily determined level.

Under Obamacare, there "shall be no administrative or judicial review" of the board's decisions.

"Once the board acts, its decisions can be overruled only by Congress, and only through unprecedented and constitutionally dubious legislative procedures," Rivkin and Foley say.

"The [advisory board's] godlike powers are not accidental. Its goal, conspicuously proclaimed by the Obama administration, is to control Medicare spending in ways that are insulated from the political process."

That violates the separation of powers included in the Constitution, the duo writes.

"Congress has willingly abandoned its power to make tough spending decisions (how and where to cut) to an unaccountable board that neither the legislative branch nor the president can control," they say.

"Obamacare mandates that the board impose deep Medicare cuts, while simultaneously forbidding it to ration care. Reducing payments to doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers may cause them to limit or stop accepting Medicare patients, or even to close shop."

Giving the board the power to create rules "relating to" Medicare cedes to it "virtually limitless power of the kind hitherto exercised by Congress," Rivkin and Foley write.

"If the [advisory board] exercises these vast powers, political accountability will vanish. … Seniors and providers hit hardest by the board's decisions will have nowhere to turn for relief — not Congress, not the president, not the courts."

To be sure, the Obama administration is showing signs of backing off from establishing the payment advisory board, and its creation is no slam dunk.

It's been three years since Obamacare was enacted, yet the payment advisory board still has no members, Jonathan Oberlander and Marisa Morrison note in a New England Journal of Medicine column.

"Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius described 'active discussions' about IPAB nominees in February 2012 and said last month that the administration was 'consulting' Congress regarding 'potential members.' But President Obama has not yet nominated anyone for the IPAB, and Republican congressional leaders have refused to provide any recommendations for appointees," Oberlander and Morrison write.

"Even if Democrats settle on nominees, the controversy surrounding the [payment board] will make their Senate confirmations, which are subject to filibuster, extraordinarily difficult."


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Lawyers: Dallas Hospital Not at Serious Risk Over Ebola Death

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 23:27 PM

If they decided to seek more than an apology from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the family of Thomas Eric Duncan,  . . .

Nancy Snyderman, NBC Crew Freed From Ebola Quarantine

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 19:47 PM

NBC News' chief medical editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, and the rest of her crew have been released from their 21-day Ebola . . .

Report: Secret Service Blasted Again for Improper Behavior

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 18:51 PM

The Secret Service is in trouble again, this time over a report that agents improperly became involved in a domestic has . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved