As the controversy over taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is likely to heat up when the House of Representatives’ recess ends, Speaker John Boehner’s health policy adviser – who is also the sister of Cate Dyer, CEO of StemExpress, which has partnered with Planned Parenthood – has quietly resigned from her position on Boehner’s staff.
Charlotte Ivancic is Dyer’s older sister. Dyer is featured extensively in the most recent investigative Planned Parenthood video as she laughed that her lab technicians “freak out” when they have to look at the severed heads of aborted babies. Dyer also laughed when she told undercover “buyers” over lunch that she has seen “really rampant, rampant problems with bacteria” in certain Planned Parenthood clinics she works with to obtain the body parts of aborted babies.
The Hill reported earlier in the month that Ivancic’s departure from Boehner’s office was imminent, as announced by the lobbying firm Tarplin, Downs & Young, which has hired her.
Regarding Ivancic’s resignation, Boehner said in a statement, “From the first real entitlement reform in nearly two decades to groundbreaking steps to improve veterans’ health care, Charlotte has spearheaded some of our most significant accomplishments on behalf of the American people.”
“She is one of the best I’ve seen at bringing people together to find common ground, and she leaves Boehnerland with the deepest respect — and best wishes — of her peers as well as lawmakers from both parties,” the Speaker added.
As Boehner referenced in his statement, the National Journal also credited Ivancic last May with bringing about a permanent “doc fix,” a nickname for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, a measure that claimed to address the threatened cuts to doctors’ reimbursement from Medicare. In the past, Congress has performed the “doc fix” on a temporary basis.
Many conservative analyses of Ivancic’s permanent “doc fix,” such as that performed at the Heritage Foundation, however, found the measure sorely lacking. These studies of the legislation found that the minor reforms it suggested were “hugely disproportionate” to the changes it made to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR).
“The proposal’s $200 billion price tag, bipartisan backing and the fact that the House plan’s savings only begin at the end of the 10-year budget window indicate strongly that its changes to Medicare are minor,” wrote James Braid at Heritage Action.
In fact, “bipartisan backing” is just what Ivancic thought would help pass the legislation.
The National Journal observed that Ivancic said Boehner’s “optimism” and the efforts of the “bipartisan committee” that worked on the permanent “doc fix” were essential to passing the measure.
The article continues:
[A]s the speaker’s health care adviser, Ivancic was the go-between between Boehner and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), working daily with her counterpart in Pelosi’s office to negotiate a deal very few people thought could be pulled off. As daunting of a task as that might seem, it encompassed everything Ivancic loves about her job.
“When I think about what I have enjoyed most about what I do, it’s anything bipartisan,” Ivancic said. “I really love to be able to work on a deal with the other side. I think that’s kind of where the sweet spot is in terms of producing the best legislation.”
According to the Journal, Ivancic, 37, worked as a laboratory administrator in the tissue-engineering department at Children’s Hospital Boston after graduating from college, and then went on to study health law at Boston University. Her first job on Capitol Hill was in the office of former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) for a year. She then moved on to work for Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN), a physician and former Senate Majority Leader.
Ivancic next went on to join the team of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who had become ranking member of the House Budget Committee, where she remained for six years.
Ivancic joined Boehner’s office as health care and veterans’ adviser over two years ago.
“I knew going in she was probably one of the best health care minds on Capitol Hill,” said Mike Sommers, Boehner’s chief of staff. “What I didn’t fully appreciate was her political skill. She also has the capacity to evaluate the political scenarios around the deal. I think that’s what makes her invaluable to the speaker.”
According to the transcript of the latest Center for Medical Progress video, Dyer tells an undercover buyer, “Yeah my sister works in Congress, and she works predominantly for Republicans.”
“Yeah, kind of shocking, her background is an attorney, and she works with health care reform,” Dyer continues. “And so she’s very socially liberal and super into stem cell research and everything.”
Dyer goes on to say that she herself would like to see the United States figure out health care the way “Canada and places like this” have done.
Additionally, Dyer tells the “buyer” that she herself is a big fan of Hillary Clinton.
“[A]t one point when Hillary was running last time, I asked my sister to go down the hall and get a signed picture, and she did so,” Dyer said.
Boehner has publicly condemned the practices in the videos.
“Nothing is more precious than life, especially an unborn child,” Boehner said in a statement. “When anyone diminishes an unborn child, we are all hurt, irreversibly so. When an organization monetizes an unborn child – and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video – we must all act.”
“As a start, I have asked our relevant committees to look into this matter,” he added. “I am also calling on President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to denounce, and stop, these gruesome practices.”
ForAmerica President David Bozell, however, issued a statement Tuesday, calling on Boehner to denounce Dyer.
“Speaker Boehner should denounce Cate Dyer, who partnered with Planned Parenthood to run a House of Horrors business that profited off of the bodies of aborted children,” he said. “It is unfathomable that the Speaker hired this monster’s sister to advise him on health care policy and he owes the American people an explanation regarding Ms. Ivancic’s sudden resignation from his office three weeks ago, only after the videos went public.”
“Speaker Boehner needs to also declare that under no circumstances will another taxpayer dime go to fund this national horror,” Bozell added. “Anything short of that is unacceptable, and unforgivable.”