The morning on which Congress awakens to find Obama has made them irrelevant again: the ‘Death Panel’ edition

Obama Panel to Curb Medicare Finds Foes in Both Parties

Robert Pear
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans are joining to oppose one of the most important features of President Obama’s new deficit reduction plan, a powerful independent board that could make sweeping cuts in the growth of Medicare spending.

Mr. Obama wants to expand the power of the 15-member panel, which was created by the new health care law, to rein in Medicare costs.

But not only do Republicans and some Democrats oppose increasing the power of the board, they also want to eliminate it altogether. Opponents fear that the panel, known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board, would usurp Congressional spending power over one of the government’s most important and expensive social programs.

Under the law, spending cuts recommended by the presidentially appointed panel would take effect automatically unless Congress voted to block or change them. In general, federal courts could not review actions to carry out the board’s recommendations. [Emphasis CAJ] The impact of the board’s decisions could be magnified because private insurers often use Medicare rates as a guide or a benchmark in paying doctors, hospitals and other providers…

…Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz, a Pennsylvania Democrat prominent on health care issues, said: “It’s our constitutional duty, as members of Congress, to take responsibility for Medicare and not turn decisions over to a board. Abdicating this responsibility, whether to insurance companies or to an unelected commission, undermines our ability to represent our constituents, including seniors and the disabled.”

Ms. Schwartz signed up on Friday as co-sponsor of a bill to repeal the board…

Read the entire article at the New York Times.

H/T Weasel Zippers, where there is interesting video…

Update: More Congressional irrelevancy: ISSA IGNORED–Obama ignores Congressional subpoena for ATF documents, Issa threatens contempt proceedings

And Obama ‘transparency’ Executive Order targets administration enemies

…yesterday… news broke that the White House has been circulating a draft Executive Order that would make many provisions of the failed DISCLOSE Act law by fiat. As we reported yesterday, the order would require all companies that sign contracts with the federal government to report on the personal political activities of their officers and directors.

The Chamber of Commerce’s Blair Latoff told Politico that the order “lays the groundwork for a political litmus test for companies that wish to do business with the federal government” and is “less about disclosure than intimidation.”

There is a very simple way to prove that this Obama order is all about punishing his enemies and rewarding his friends: unions that sign collective bargaining contracts with the federal government are exempt from the “disclosure” requirements. Liberal groups, the largest of which are all unions, spent $95 million on outside expenditures alone in the 2010 cycle alone.

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