Boehner’s Health Policy Director is Sister of StemExpress Founder

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The founder of StemExpress, the private company that has engaged with Planned Parenthood in the sale of aborted baby body parts, is the younger sister of the health policy director of House Speaker John Boehner.

The founder and CEO of StemExpress is Cate Dyer, the younger sister of Charlotte Ivancic, Boehner’s health policy director, as originally observed at the conservative site ForAmerica.

In response to Breitbart News’ request for comment, Emily Schillinger, Boehner’s press secretary, said, “Charlotte Ivancic is a dedicated public servant who enjoys the utmost respect among her peers and Members of Congress. She has the Speaker’s complete trust and confidence in both her work and her character.”

As reported at Breitbart News, StemExpress, located in Placerville, California, describes itself as “a multi-million dollar company that supplies human blood, tissue products, primary cells and other clinical specimens to biomedical researchers.” The company says it “offers the largest variety of raw material in the industry, as well as fresh, fixed and cryopreserved human primary cells.”

StemExpress touts that it is the only company of its kind to obtain tissues and isolate cells for the individual needs of researchers in its own labs.

“Our human tissue products range from fetal to adult and healthy to diseased, and we also collect bone marrow and leukapheresis for isolation,” the company says.

The Center for Medical Progress, the pro-life group that produced the undercover video of a Planned Parenthood medical director eating a salad while discussing the harvesting and sale of aborted baby body parts, has posted StemExpress’s flyer which states:

By partnering with StemExpress, not only are you offering a way for your clients to participate in the unique opportunity to facilitate life-saving research, but you will also be contributing to the fiscal growth of your own clinic. The stem cell rich blood and raw materials that are usually discarded during obstetrical procedures can, instead, be expedited through StemExpress to research laboratories with complete professionalism and source anonymity.

On Wednesday, Boehner ordered an investigation into Planned Parenthood following the release of the now-viral video.

“Nothing is more precious than life, especially an unborn child,” Boehner said in his 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,” the Speaker continued. “I am also calling on President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to denounce, and stop, these gruesome practices.”

On Thursday, Boehner again addressed the Planned Parenthood video. At his weekly press briefing, he pledged that the House would get to the bottom of Planned Parenthood’s practices discussed in the video:

Also this week, at my request, our committees have begun looking at some of the gruesome practices embraced by Planned Parenthood. I’m also demanding that the President denounce and stop these practices.

If you’ve seen this video, I don’t have to tell you how sickening it is. So rest assured, we’re going to get to the bottom of this and protect the values that we hold dear.

I want the committees to do their investigation. I want them to do their hearings.  And, once they have, then we’ll decide what’s the proper course of action…

I could talk about the video, but I think I’d vomit trying to talk about it. It’s disgusting.

In May, the National Journal credited Boehner’s health policy director Ivancic with bringing about a permanent “doc fix,” a nickname for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, a measure that addressed the threatened cuts to doctors’ reimbursement from Medicare. In the past, Congress has performed the “doc fix” on a temporary basis.

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, 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.”

The Journal notes 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 legislation.

The article continues:

[A]s the speaker’s health care adviser, Ivancic was the go-between between Boehner and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, working daily with her counterpart in the minority leader’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.”

Writing at the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), however, G. Keith Smith, M.D. said the purpose of the doc fix was to “delay the bankruptcy and end of Medicare,” but that the permanent fix would only “hasten” that end.

He continued:

Central to the progressive goal of controlling the practice of medicine—and to the success of the [Un]affordable Care Act (UCA)—is the need to push physicians into employment contracts with hospitals. As hospital employees, doctors are easier to control, and less able to act as uncompromising advocates for their patients.

Fear leads many doctors to succumb to ‘offers’ of hospital employment they would otherwise not entertain. The threat of massive SGR cuts was a great fear generator…

Smith says that with the permanent doc fix, Medicare payments will no longer be made directly to physicians, but to hospitals.

“That the American Hospital Association lobbied so strongly for this provision should provide an indication of what they have in mind for doctors’ payment,” he wrote.

The worst part of the doc fix, however, according to Smith, is “outcomes-based pay,” a provision through which physicians get paid based on how well patients do after surgery.

“This provision is particularly diabolical,” says Smith. “Its true intent is the denial of care to the sickest and neediest (and likely the most expensive), as physicians fearing that they will be profiled for poor outcomes with sick patients will slow play their care or not see them at all.”

“To bureaucrats, this provision has the added advantage of a built-in fall guy: the physician,” he added. “The physician who denies care out of fear of a soiled profile will be pilloried, while the real perpetrators in D.C. will celebrate and take credit for lower Medicare expenditures.”

Smith says that with the doc fix, more physicians will leave Medicare completely, rather than play the “beg the hospital for payment” game.


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