Highest Court takes a pass on MedPAC-replacement case

Attorneys working to abolish the Independent Payment Advisory Board vowed Tuesday to fight the IPAB's first board action, whenever it might come. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a long-standing case challenging the panel's constitutionality.

Until IPAB makes an actual ruling, any constitutional challenge is unlikely, legal observers say. Christina Sandefur, a senior attorney at the Goldwater Institute, a plaintiff in the Coons v. Lew case that the high court passed on Monday, told Politico that the group would renew its legal fight against IPAB once any official action is taken.

IPAB was authorized under the Affordable Care Act to control Medicare spending, but many providers have sharply criticized the move, fearing it would lead to limited care. Also, the new panel would largely supplant the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and make payment rate decisions itself directly, lessening lawmakers' hand in the process overall.