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Democrats' Senate Nuke Allows Obama to Pack the Obamacare 'Death Panel'

Democrats often accuse Republicans of wanting to kill the elderly. Rep. Alan Grayson even once smeared the GOP's health reform plan as "Die quickly." But now the Democrats may be able to do what they accuse Republicans, baselessly, of wanting to do.

The Senate Democrats' decision to nuke minority filibusters allows President Obama to pack one of the most controversial boards created by Obamacare, according to the Hill.

The filibuster vote could also make it easier for Obama to fill the healthcare law's controversial cost-cutting board, another big advantage for the president.

Known as IPAB, the panel has no members yet is meant to submit its first proposed cuts in January. Any nominees from Obama require Senate confirmation, which is now an easier prospect.

Before Thursday’s vote, Obama’s nominees needed 60 votes to survive procedural motions. Now they need 51.

The Independent Payment Advisory Board is the 15-member unelected board that the Obamacare law creates. Its voting members are nominated by the president, and confirmed by the Senate. Prior to the breaking of the filibuster, President Obama would have had an extremely difficult time getting a single member appointed and confirmed.

Dubbed the "death panel" by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the IPAB is charged with essentially rationing health care. The IPAB is so controversial that the American Medical Association has taken the unusual step of publicly supporting its abolition.

Perhaps we shouldn't look at the IPAB as a death panel per se. In Democrats' thinking, it's just a means of redistributing life.