Clarification on Advisory Board

To the Valley News:

Several weeks ago you published my letter concerning false statements by candidates for office in their press releases, interviews and commercials. I pointed out that one candidate’s claim that the U.S. Department of Education should be abolished because it was “not in the Constitution” was a misrepresentation aimed that those who don’t take the time to check out such statements. Fact: No Department is named in the Constitution: not Defense, not Treasury, not Justice, etc.

Additionally, I pointed out that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act forbids the Independent Medicare Advisory Board from presenting recommendations that would ration healthcare. It’s in the law: Section 3403.

As if on cue, GOP hopeful Matt Doheny, in the May 3 Valley News interview, is quoted as saying that this Board has the “authority to ration care and costs.” This Board is created in Section 3403, subsection “a” of Public Law: 111-148. Here is what the law states are that Board’s restrictions, in part, for the Board’s recommendations (the proposal) to the Congress on cost control: “The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums under section 1818, 1818A, or 1839, increase Medicare beneficiary cost‑sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.”

That Board’s recommendations go to the Congress (those elected people) for action.

Doheny and others have made a big deal that this Board is “not elected.” In the USA there are thousands of advisory boards, committees, commission, panels, etc.. All of these “boards” were created by elected officials. Local zoning boards are an example. The appointed positions on these boards are filled by elected officials who were elected, among other things, to appoint people to these boards.

According to the Census Bureau, there are over 89,000 local governments in the US. Probably there are over 100,000 appointed boards. Can you imagine the cost of holding elections for every board member on every board in the USA? This “not elected” scam is in the same subversive boat with the “not in the Constitution” scam. If we follow this logic, then governors could not appoint Senators or Congressmen for the unexpired term of a seat left vacant due to death, resignation, or impeachment. Or, the appointed person could not vote on anything because she or he was “not elected.”

Gordon Howard


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