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GOP lawmakers support Supreme Court review of Obamacare case


Twenty five Republicans from the House and Senate filed a brief Thursday in support of a challenge to a powerful board created by Obamacare that critics say has too much power to decide what services are covered by Medicare.

In November, the Goldwater Institute filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to take up its case against the Independent Payment Advisory Board. Many Republicans believe the IPAB has the power to set policy that circumvents Congress, and say it needs to be reined in.

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 3.58.24 PM Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) and two dozen other Republicans filed a brief Thursday asking the Supreme Court to take up the latest legal challenge to Obamacare.
Image: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) has proposed legislation to eliminate the IPAB, and he was one of the 25 Republicans to submit a brief in support of the Goldwater Institute's challenge.

"IPAB wields authority to make law with no meaningful legislative, executive, or judicial oversight," the brief said. "It is not a mere executive entity; it is an autonomous lawmaking body shielded from democratic checks and balances."

The brief explained that IPAB is required to make "recommendations" to cut Medicare costs, but said those recommendations are required to be carried out immediately by the Department of Health and Human Services. It can also make recommendations that are "related to" Medicare, giving it a wide latitude to set policy without any input from Congress.

It also warned that the body is also technically immune from presidential authority. Even if the president doesn't appoint IPAB members, the HHS Secretary would have to make recommendations.

"The president may not alter them, and must then submit them to Congress within two days," the brief said.

In addition to Roe, other House members on the brief include noted Obamacare opponents Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Paul Broun (R-Ga.). One senator, Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), is also a signatory.

Read the lawmakers' petition to the Supreme Court, filed on behalf of the Pacific Legal Foundation, here:

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