Two weeks ago the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard arguments about the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), aka ObamaCare’s death panel, a 15 member presidential appointed panel created and empowered to make all kinds of decisions regarding your health care.
Christina Sandefur, a lawyer at the Goldwater Institute in Arizona, argued before the court that the IPAB consolidates the powers of every single branch of government into one body, and yet is unaccountable to any of those branches. It violates the Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendments and runs afoul of the separation of powers enshrined throughout the Constitution.
Under provisions in ObamaCare, the death panel would set Medicare and Medicaid policy and health care payment rates for virtually all Americans beginning in 2017. When setting Medicaid policy, the board is required to consider private sector consequences potentially resulting in rationing of care and/or increasing taxes to assist Medicaid.
Once the board begins making policy, it is insulated from Congressional or Judicial oversight, with Congress given only a brief window in 2017 to repeal or limit their power and then only with a supermajority. If Congress fails to repeal or limit the power of the death panel board it becomes the metaphorical cockroach that would survive even a nuclear holocaust.
Another interesting provision regarding the IPAB states that if the president does not appoint any panel members, all powers of the board reverts to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services who would thus also be exempt from Congressional and Judicial oversight.
The Department of Veterans Affairs scandals should give one pause to consider the potential problems of an unaccountable death panel and government controlled health care. The VA is not exempt from Congressional oversight and yet the good ole boy network on Capitol Hill has done absolutely nothing to fix the problem. The same can be said for the abuses of the IRS, the EPA or the unconstitutional actions of the executive branch.
But the VA scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. The US Department of Labor, under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, is denying financial assistance to union workers at Hanford Nuclear Waste site, who are displaying symptoms of exposure to radiation, toxins and heavy metal. The government, in its infinite wisdom, is deploying an age old trick – Deny that exposure to nuclear waste could cause medical problems and Delay assistance until most of the workers are dead. Hey, the ploy worked with Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange! Governmental bureaucracy with unlimited taxpayer money at its disposal can outwait, outlast and outspend the peasants .
When the IPAB or in its absence, HHS, start making unpopular, unconstitutional, dangerous decisions, there will be no way to stop it. Welcome to the future of government controlled health care!
Source: IPAB: The Latest Major Legal Challenge to ObamaCare, by Watchdog.org; and Nuclear Worker:Government Waiting For Us to Die by Mikael Thalen