http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-romneys...The Independent Payment Advisory Board perfectly illustrates liberalism's itch to remove choices from individuals, and from their elected representatives, and to repose the power to choose in supposed experts liberated from democratic accountability. Beginning in 2014, IPAB would consist of 15 unelected technocrats whose recommendations for reducing Medicare costs must be enacted by Congress by Aug. 15 of each year. If Congress does not enact them, or other measures achieving the same level of cost containment, IPAB's proposals automatically are transformed from recommendations into law. Without being approved by Congress. Without being signed by the president.These facts refute Obama's Denver assurance that IPAB "can't make decisions about what treatments are given." It can and will by controlling payments to doctors and hospitals. Hence the emptiness of Obamacare's language that IPAB's proposals "shall not include any recommendation to ration health care."By Obamacare's terms, Congress can repeal IPAB only during a seven-month window in 2017, and then only by three-fifths majorities in both chambers. After that, the law precludes Congress from ever altering IPAB proposals. Because IPAB effectively makes law, thereby traducing the separation of powers, and entrenches IPAB in a manner that derogates the powers of future Congresses, it has been well described as "the most anti-constitutional measure ever to pass Congress."_____________________But if you want to give up a lot of freedom (and possibly your life, depending on what the IPAB bureaucrats decide) for a little security, go for it. Or you can join me in getting treated in another country if you can afford it.--fleg
http://washingtonexaminer.com/romney-should-keep-focus-on-ip...What distinguishes the IPAB from the Environmental Protection Agency or the Federal Drug Administration is that those agencies give affected parties opportunities to weigh in before issuing their rules. This board would not be required to offer any avenue for patients and providers to air their concerns, nor could its decisions be challenged in court. Coaxing coverage out of heartless private insurers will seem like a piece of cake compared to confronting this all-powerful bureaucracy, which allows neither access nor appeal.The IPAB's proposals would automatically become law unless Congress came up with its own equivalent spending cuts -- or both houses, including a three-fifths majority in the Senate, waived it and the president signed the waiver. This is an exceedingly high hurdle that would effectively turn the IPAB into a super legislature. Under the constitution, the legislative power – the supreme power – is lodged in Congress along with a democratic check. Courts avoid the democratic check but forego legislative powers. But no government entity, not even the Federal Reserve, gets unchecked legislative powers. This is what the IPAB will have, contravening the core of constitution's scheme of checks and balances.Medicare spending is a pressing problem, no doubt. But the IPAB is a cure worse than the disease. It thwarts seniors' treatment options, providers' independence, and the constitutional balance of powers. The more Romney makes it an issue during his campaign, the more likely that the IPAB itself will be thwarted, whether he ends up in White House or not.________________________If Romney does nothing more than get rid of the IPAB, either directly or indirectly, then he will have ended up saving the lives of people you know, if not you yourselves. As surely as Democrats want to run your lives, the IPAB will in the near future deny life-saving and pain-relieving treatment that is very accessible today.--fleg
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