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MICHAEL BARONE: Challenging the dreaded IPAB – Campaign 2012

September 8, 2011

Challenging the dreaded IPAB

By Michael Barone

The Goldwater Institute has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is part of Obamacare, as my former Examiner colleague Kevin Mooney explains in the Pelican Post. The main thrust of the suit appears to be the charge that Congress has unconstitutionally delegated the power to legislate. But the lawsuit evidently also challenges the weird Obamacare provision that limits the way Congress can abolish IPAB. In Mooney’s words,

“In order to repeal IPAB, Congress must enact a Joint Resolution, but it is prohibited from introducing such a resolution until 2017, and must act no later than Feb. 1 2017. The resolution must be in place no later than Aug. 15, 2017. In the event that a resolution is introduced, PPACA [the official acronym for Obamacare] calls for a super-majority vote, meaning 3/5 of all elected members of Congress, must support the resolution. Even if a resolution is passed, the Board would not disband until 2020.”

This seems to me to be unconstitutional. One Congress should not be able to change the terms and conditions under which a subsequent Congress can pass a bill. That should require a constitutional amendment. Yes, each house of Congress can set its own rules and require supermajorities for procedural motions. But can it deny a future Congress the power to repeal a statute by majority vote? If so, what is to stop a Congress from requiring a nine-tenths vote of elected members to repeal a particular law?

Am I missing something here?

via Challenging the dreaded IPAB | Campaign 2012.

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