Who should control the personal and complex process of medical decision-making? You and your physician, or Washington? How America answers this question will ultimately decide which of two diametrically opposed solutions will prevail.
Government Run Healthcare
One solution transfers power to Washington. President Obama chose this path when he signed the 2,700 page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The PPACA increases government control over healthcare through the creation of numerous new taxes, subsidies, regulations, mandates, and oversight boards.
For example, section 3403 created a new 15-member panel called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). To explain the purpose of the IPAB, paragraph (b) of section 3403 states, “PURPOSE—It is the purpose of this section to, in accordance with the following provisions of this section, reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending.”*
The new healthcare law gives this unelected, unaccountable, 15-member board unprecedented authority. The recommendations of the IPAB become law unless Congress:
- Overturns the IPAB’s recommendations, and then
- Passes its own legislation cutting Medicare by an equal to or greater amount. Both of these provisions require a 60-vote majority in the Senate.
- The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” effectively transfers legislative power to fifteen unelected Washington bureaucrats—a gross violation of the governing principles laid out by our Founding Fathers. Rather than subordinating the board to Congress, the PPACA subordinates Congress to the board.
The profound significance of Section 3403 is often overlooked. Historically, any piece of legislation requires 60 votes to pass cloture in the Senate and move forward. Otherwise, the legislation dies. The PPACA requires a 60 vote Senate majority to stop the IPAB’s recommendations from becoming law.
Even more, the Senate must then find another 60 votes to pass alternative legislation with equal or deeper cuts to Medicare. Without this second 60-vote majority, the IPAB’s recommendations still become law, even if overturned on the first vote.
In other words, rather than requiring 60 votes in the Senate to become law, the IPAB’s recommendations require two 60-vote majorities to prevent them from becoming law. This stands the “tempering” affect of the Senate filibuster on its head.
Finding An Alternative
Driven by this and other provisions in the bill, polling data reveals between 53 percent and 58 percent of likely voters favor the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.** Even more, it is becoming clear the Affordable Care Act will implode.
The question becomes "What happens next?" If Congress repeals Obamacare it must replace the legislation with alternative reforms that control the growth of healthcare spending while addressing the rising number of uninsured. This web site lays out such a plan.
*Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 3403 (b), Consolidated Print, page 387. April 23, 2010.
**RASMUSSEN REPORTS, “56 PERCENT FAVOR REPEAL OF HEALTH CARE LAW,” SEPTEMBER 19, 2011.