I am really sorry I read George Will's column this morning. It is to depressing for works. He discusses how Congress has, to my eye, un-Constitutionally delegated legislative power to the IPAB, an unaccountable organization that can basically write any law it wants regarding health care as long as it nominally can be justified as affecting costs (the only power Congress has is to vote such laws down, and it can only do so if it substitutes laws with equivalent cost savings).
Just to give one a flavor of just how undemocratic the folks were who crafted Obamacare, check this provision out:
Any resolution to abolish the IPAB must pass both houses of Congress. And no such resolution can be introduced before 2017 or after Feb. 1, 2017, and must be enacted by Aug. 15 of that year. And if passed, it cannot take effect until 2020. Defenders of all this audaciously call it a “fast track” process for considering termination of IPAB. It is, however, transparently designed to permanently entrench IPAB — never mind the principle that one Congress cannot by statute bind another Congress from altering that statute.
So, for the rest of eternity, there is theoretically only a single 31-day window six years hence when this board can be abolished. Of course, I am not sure future Congresses can be bound in this way, but it shows you the heart of a dictator possessed by the folks who wrote this law.
By the way, not always a big fan of Justice Scalia, but there is little doubt he is smart and this dissent written 12 years ago certainly was prescient
“I anticipate that Congress will find delegation of its lawmaking powers much more attractive in the future. . . . I foresee all manner of ‘expert’ bodies, insulated from the political process, to which Congress will delegate various portions of its lawmaking responsibility. How tempting to create an expert Medical Commission . . . to dispose of such thorny, ‘no-win’ political issues as the withholding of life-support systems in federally funded hospitals.”
Postscript: Could the IPAB pass nanny-type rules under the justification they could reduce health care expenditures? For example, what if the IPAB said that mandatory motorcycle helmets would reduce doctor spending, would that automatically become law? How about limits on salt or fatty foods? Many current dystopic novels begin with growth in government power, sometimes of one agency, due to security fears over terrorism (e.g, the movie V). I bet I could write a good one with the core being the IPAB.