October 5, 2012
PROGRESSIVE NIRVANA: INALTERABLE, UNACCOUNTABLE “EXPERT” BOARDS: Such as the Independent Payment Advisory Commission (IPAB) that received a good amount of attention in Wednesday’s presidential debate, and is addressed by George Will’s most recent column. Will highlights two extremely bizarre aspects of IPAB that get far too little attention:
(1) The IPAB itself can be disbanded only by a 3/5 supermajority of both houses of Congress, AND
(2) only if the resolution to disband is introduced between Jan. 1- Feb. 1, 2017, and approved (by 3/5) before Aug. 15, 2017. That is a maximum 8.5 month window. After this time period, any attempt at disbandment is not allowed under the statute.
Of course whether Congress can do #2– prevent itself and future Congresses from repealing an ordinary statute–is debatable. There are likely constitutional challenges that would raise very interesting questions.
But aside from all that, the salient point is this: Progressives adore “expert” panels like the IPAB because they believe they are better able to make tough decisions about how to cut Medicare spending than our elected representatives. And they love these unaccountable expert panels so much that they attempt desperate measures like “entrenching” them statutorily, writing language that purports to make these boards hard to repeal–and impossible after a very narrow window. This isn’t very “progressive” at all, because such entrenchment presumes that future generations can’t govern/decide for themselves, and nothing can ever be altered or improved. Typical hypocritical, control-freak progressivism.