Obamacare IPAB Case Must Now Move Ahead

“Whatever crushes individuality is despotism.” 
~ John Stuart Mill

Update: 6/28/12: IPAB’s constitutionality was never included in the hurried Florida lawsuit decided by SCOTUS today. It is perhaps the stronger argument. IPAB is a rogue government answerable to no one but the executive. The constitutionality is being challenged in Coons vs. Geithner. The case was held up in the courts because today’s case was first in line. 

For those who don’t know what IPAB is, it is a 15 member panel chosen by the executive and managed by the executive branch alone. The funding comes straight from the taxpayer with no congressional oversight.

Goldwater Institute:…The outcome at the Supreme Court in the Florida case is of vital importance to Coons v. Geithner.  While SCOTUS is not currently considering the Constitutionality of the IPAB, the severability issue could result in a gutting or complete end of the ObamaCare law in its entirety.  There is another scenario, however, where the Supreme Court allows parts or all of the law to stand.  If the IPAB is among the provisions that survive, the Goldwater Institute should continue fighting against it in court.

In Coons, plaintiffs allege that “IPAB is not reform – it is Congress’s way of abdicating its duties to a centralized, unelected, unaccountable board.”  Simply put, the Constitution designates Congress as the national law-making body, but because of ObamaCare, the IPAB’s “recommendations” for how to cut Medicare spending will become law unless Congress – by supermajority in both houses – votes them down…

Update: 5/12: There are now two rogue governments within the Executive Branch. Dodd-Frank established  the Bureau of Financial Consumer Protection which has no oversight provisions and has its own funding mechanism with access to unlimited funds.
Original Story: 3/2/12: On March 26th,  the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on four key questions raised by ObamaCare –
  1. Individual Mandate: Did Congress exceed its Commerce Clause authority when it required all Americans to have some form of health insurance by 2014; especially since failure to purchase coverage inflicts a penalty?
  2. Medicaid Held Hostage: Is Congress’ threat to withhold Medicaid funding to States that do not comply with ObamaCare a coercive abuse of its Spending Clause power?
  3. Lack of RipenessAre lawsuits challenging ObamaCare occurring too soon since federal law requires some types of litigation to wait until an injury actually occurs, such as in 2015 when the first violator of the individual mandate will be assessed a penalty?
  4. SeverabilityIf the individual mandate is held unconstitutional, can the rest of ObamaCare be implemented, or must the entire law become null and void?

While they are critical to our liberties, they do not include the most dangerous provision. The case to be heard in March is the first of several lawsuits against Obamacare to reach SCOTUS. It was brought by the state of Florida and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Their issues deal with federalism and the economic rights of employers.

What is left out is the constitutionality of the Independent Patient Advisory Board IPAB is the council of so-called healthcare experts who will expand insurance coverage while controlling costs with rationed care and price ceilings.  IPAB will be the only federal agency endowed not only with lawmaking power, but also with the ability to operate completely outside of congressional, presidential and judicial oversight. It completely circumvents Congress, our Constitution and the rights of individuals over their own healthcare.

It was left out of this case by accident, but there is hope. The Coons case is pending in Arizona and in Coons v. Geithner, the Goldwater Institute and PLF have made opposition to IPAB a central theme in the case against ObamaCare.

In an amicus brief, PLF’s Timothy Sandefur traces how IPAB creates a government-within-a-government, whereby IPAB’s members can make spending decisions that are unalterable by Congress or the president, and unreviewable by the courts.   What’s more, IPAB is the only federal body whose existence is perpetual unless Congress repeals its enabling legislation by August 15, 2017.  By ObamaCare’s explicit terms, IPAB will be forever free of legislative, executive or judicial oversight because the text of the law prohibits any future Congress from repealing IPAB if it is left standing after the 2017 deadline. (CFIF)

It might not come to the point of needing it in this current case before the court.

According to PLF’s Himebaugh, “If the Supreme Court holds that all of ObamaCare’s provisions must fall as a result of the unconstitutional individual mandate, then that would include IPAB.  But, if the mandate is severed from the rest of the Act, the IPAB issue is still on the table.”

The constitutionality of Obamacare rests on IPAB and it will determine if agencies can run like rogue governments. Read more: CFIF