The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case arguing a key Medicare panel is unconstitutional, putting an abrupt end to an effort to gut a controversial part of the healthcare law.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board was created in Obamacare to issue recommendations on Medicare cuts in case the program grows too fast. The case, Coons vs. Lew, centers on whether the process of recommending and installing cuts circumvents Congress.
Once the board makes recommendations, the Obama administration can put them into effect. Congress has only a few days to veto the cuts, which plaintiffs in the suit argue is not enough time.
The board was originally characterized by Obamacare opponents as a "death panel" that will decide whether seniors get Medicare coverage or not. However, that claim was quickly debunked as the panel doesn't evaluate individual coverage, just overall cuts to the entire program if it grows too fast.