When you pass a bill no one has read…

April 13, 2010

Stuff like this is bound to happen:

Baffled by Health Plan? So Are Some Lawmakers

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

(…)

The law apparently bars members of Congress from the federal employees health program, on the assumption that lawmakers should join many of their constituents in getting coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.

But the research service found that this provision was written in an imprecise, confusing way, so it is not clear when it takes effect.

The new exchanges do not have to be in operation until 2014. But because of a possible “drafting error,” the report says, Congress did not specify an effective date for the section excluding lawmakers from the existing program.

Under well-established canons of statutory interpretation, the report said, “a law takes effect on the date of its enactment” unless Congress clearly specifies otherwise. And Congress did not specify any other effective date for this part of the health care law. The law was enacted when President Obama signed it three weeks ago.

Schadenfreude is sweet, and sometimes there is justice in the universe.  Devil

And this quote just begs a “So NOW you’re asking??” response:

The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

A lot of us were raising that and similar questions for nearly a year before this monstrosity passed, but then we had “leaders” like Congressman John Conyers (D-MyWifeIsAFelon) tell us they didn’t need to read the bill:

I can’t wait to watch as they scramble to fix this.

(via Exurban League)

LINKS: More at Hot Air, Fausta, and Sister Toldjah.

Advertisements