Democracy “is an obstacle to the suppression of freedom which the direction of economic activity requires.”
As Americans await the Supreme Court’s decision on the legality of Obamacare, dissection of the monstrous behemoth and analysis of its dangers continues. The most chilling and therefore most compelling comes from the Cato Institute, which takes a close look at the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
This board is the reason the Democrats wanted the legislation passed before anyone read and digested its contents. The IPAB is deliberately designed to shatter the Constitutional separation of powers, its checks and balances; effectively turning the United States of America into the USSA of Amerikka.
- The IPAB will consist of 15 voting members, each earning upward of $165,000 per year, appointed by the president without any bipartisan requirements and confirmed by the Senate (subject to “recess appointments”).
- IPAB proposals automatically become law.
- There is no requirement for ANY input from anyone.
- They have the power to regulate beyond just Medicare. Including the laying of taxes as it alone sees fit.
- Proposals may only be blocked by the House, Senate and president all agreeing upon a substitute. There is no allowance for congressional action or oversight, no ability for a presidential veto, no requirement for any sort of administrative or judicial review.
- Citizens may not challenge any proposal in court.
- The only opportunity to get rid of the IPAB is one, single 7-month window in 2017 and then by a 3/5 majority in both chambers. Miss that and nothing it ever does may ever be altered by Congress.
- Even if Congress does manage to get rid of the IPAB during its designed, tiny window of opportunity, it still won’t go away for six more months.
When the unelected government officials on this board submit a legislative proposal to Congress, it automatically becomes law: PPACA requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement it. Blocking an IPAB “proposal” requires at a minimum that the House and the Senate and the president agree on a substitute. The Board’s edicts therefore can become law without congressional action, congressional approval, meaningful congressional oversight, or being subject to a presidential veto. Citizens will have no power to challenge IPAB’s edicts in court.
Worse, PPACA forbids Congress from repealing IPAB outside of a seven-month window in the year 2017, and even then requires a threefifths majority in both chambers. A heretofore unreported feature of PPACA dictates that if Congress misses that repeal window, PPACA prohibits Congress from ever altering an IPAB “proposal.” By restricting lawmaking powers of future Congresses, PPACA thus attempts to amend the Constitution by statute.
The IPAB “…is anticonstitutional. Congress’s legislative powers do not include the power to alter the constitutional procedure required for the passage of laws. Nor does it include the power to entrench legislation by preventing it from being altered by future Congresses.”
In some cases, PPACA vests IPAB’s powers in just one individual. If there are 14 vacancies on the board, the Act allows the
sole appointed member to constitute a quorum, conduct official business, and issue “proposals.” The greater danger, then, is not that a president might pack the board with multiple party loyalists, but that he might appoint only one. Or none: if the president fails to appoint any board members (or the Senate fails to confirm the president’s appointments, or a majority of the board cannot agree a proposal) the Act authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to exercise the board’s powers unilaterally. These powers include the ability to appropriate funds to her own department to administer her own directives.
The Board could propose, for instance, to require states to implement federal laws or to enact new state laws in order to receive federal funding. The Board need only demonstrate that its proposals and recommendations relate to Medicare in some undefined way.
There is [NO enforcement mechanism behind PPACA’s prohibition on taxes]. The Act exempts the Secretary’s implementation of IPAB proposals from administrative and judicial review, so no one could sue to block it. The president could not shelve it, because IPAB submits its proposals directly to Congress. If the Secretary submits a proposal in IPAB’s stead, PPACA requires the president to submit the proposal directly to Congress. The Act allows Congress and the president to block that tax increase by offering a substitute or by mustering a three-fifths majority in the Senate but that merely shows that IPAB’s tax increases and spending cuts are on an equal footing. If Congress and the president fail to reject IPAB’s tax increase or to enact on a substitute, the Act requires the Secretary to implement it, with the help of funds that IPAB may itself appropriate.
The Act states that Congress may only repeal IPAB if it follows these precise steps:
1. Wait until the year 2017.
2. Introduce a specifically worded “Joint Resolution” in the House and Senate between January 1 and February 1.
3. Pass that resolution with a three-fifths vote of all members of each chamber by August 15.
The president must then sign that joint resolution.
Whereas Congress can repeal any other federal statute at any time with just a majority vote in each chamber and the president’s
signature, under PPACA Congress has only about 15 business days in the year 2017 to propose this joint resolution of repeal. Otherwise, the Act forever precludes repeal. Congress must then pass that resolution with a three-fifths supermajority by August 15, 2017, or the Act forever precludes repeal. Even if a repeal resolution should clear these hurdles, IPAB would retain its power to legislate through January 15, 2018. If Congress fails to follow these precise steps, then PPACA states the American people’s elected representatives may never repeal IPAB, ever.
I don’t know anyone who would put their health care choices and decisions into the hands of only one person, let alone only one bureaucrat. Yet that is what the Democrats cooked up with the IPAB and forced through their majority-controlled Congress. And if it can happen, rest assured it will happen. This group of people who believe it is perfectly all right to kill a newborn baby by calling it some variation of an “abortion” yet will defend the right to live of a convicted serial killer have serious mental health problems. We simply cannot stand by and continue to let the insane run the asylum.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) must be repealed in its entirety.