Supreme Court Throws Out “Death Panel” Challenge

kim kardashian

On Monday, the Supreme Court threw out the “death panel” challenge against the Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare. The “death panel” refers to some cuts in Medicare, which is the program used by elderly and disabled people. People used the term “death panel” because Obamacare cut some of Medicare, and that was putting some of these people at risk. However, there was no evidence of this and the case was thrown out.

The panel, actually called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, consisted of fifteen people and won’t be making decisions until Medicare spending increases to a particular level. However, this isn’t meant to happen for several years. The Goldwater Institute, the ones who put forth the lawsuit, say they will revisit this case later. They feel as though the IPAB has too much power and the amount of control they have is illegal. Also, the members of the board are unelected by the people and their decisions cannot be turned over by Congress without a very large majority to oppose the decisions by the board. They are going to wait until the IPAB takes action and then push forward with the case.

It isn’t a surprise that the case, known as Coons v Lew, was thrown out, according to Politico. In a report by Politico, it says, “Lower courts had ruled for the government, making the suit an unlikely candidate for the justices’ review. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said the case was not ripe for review because the panel has not yet made any decision.” In other words, tthe Goldwater Institute kind of jumped the gun on this case.

However, Obamacare is still facing challenges. Another case, King v Burwell, is challenging the healthcare law’s tax subsides. A ruling on this case is expected in June. Obamacare has faced challenges since 2010 when it was signed into a law. It even caused the government shut down, but the Supreme Court has dubbed the Affordable Healthcare Act as constitutional and has stood by that ruling from 2012.

This decision on Monday to throw away the case was a win for the Obama administration. When the IPAB has to make decisions concerning Medicare, the case will brought back to court. Again, that won’t be for years, so who is to know what will happen then. It all really depends on how the IPAB will deal with the Medicare spending. In the coming months it will be revealed what the Supreme Court decides about the tax subsides.    

Photo Via flickr/ John Marino


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