#Obamacare: Good news! Your tax dollars pay for foreign diplomats’ health care!

December 11, 2014
x

Obamacare loophole writer in action

Reason number eleventy-billion why they should have read the danged bill. Apparently a loophole allows foreign diplomats and UN employees to receive premium subsidies for their insurance:

Congress is considering a new bill aimed at stopping foreign diplomats stationed in the United States from receiving taxpayer subsidized health coverage benefits under Obamacare, according to a copy of the bill filed Wednesday.

Foreign diplomats and United Nations employees posted in the United States are permitted to receive premium tax credits and other perks paid for by the U.S. taxpayer under a loophole in President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.

The Obama administration confirmed earlier this year that the loophole existed, prompting outrage on Capitol Hill among lawmakers who argue that the U.S. taxpayer should not foot the bill for foreign diplomats’ health care costs.

House lawmakers moved on Wednesday to close the loophole by offering a new bill to designate foreign diplomats as ineligible for tax credits and other cost-sharing reductions under Obamacare, according to a copy of the bill authored by Reps. Ed Royce (R., Calif.) and Dave Camp (R., Mich.)

The legislation would require Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees implementation of Obamacare, to ensure that no foreign diplomats are receiving such benefits.

I think Moscow can pay for its own diplomats’ insurance, don’t you?

Of course, given the rolling disaster that is Obamacare, maybe encouraging foreign diplomats to sign up for it could be considered an act of war.

Advertisements

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.


Guess who’s exempted from ObamaCare?

March 22, 2010

Call this another example of how crappy process leads to crappy legislation, but congressional committee staff and the staff of leadership offices -the staff serving the Office of the Speaker, for example- are not bound by the health care act passed last night. Per The New Ledger:

But as with a lot of legislative matters, the devil is in the details — or in this case, the definitions. As anyone who’s worked on Capitol Hill knows, the personal office staff for a member is governed by different rules than those who work on committees and in the leadership offices. It appears from the way this language is written that those staffers NOT in personal offices, such as those working and paid under the committee structure (such as those working for Chairman Henry Waxman) or those working on leadership staff (such as those working for Speaker Nancy Pelosi) would be exempt from these requirements (emphasis added).

  • (ii) DEFINITIONS- In this section:
  • (I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS- The term `Member of Congress’ means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.
  • (II) CONGRESSIONAL STAFF- The term `congressional staff’ means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.

According to the Congressional Research Service, this definition of staff will only apply to those staffers employed within a member’s “personal office” — meaning that it will absolutely not apply to committee staff members, and may not apply to leadership staff.

This problem was acknowledged earlier in the process — last year, Senator Grassley tried to repair it, but he was rebuffed.

As Speaker Pelosi said a few weeks ago, it’s only after this legislation is passed that we’ll truly find out what’s in it.

As TNL points out, the staff who created this exemption were also the ones heavily involved in writing the bill itself. Pretty neat, huh? On the one hand creating the greatest health-care reform EVER!1!1! by which we are all bound whether we want it or not, while on the other carving out a little loophole for yourself. And, of course, with the majority hell-bent on ramming this bill through as fast as possible, there was no time to vet it for just this kind of Easter egg.

It’s great to be the ones who writes the rules, ain’t it? Even the masters are bound by it, but not the servants themselves.

Fools on the one hand, weasels on the other.

One more to be entered into the Book of Grudges for November.

(via Instapundit)

LINKS: Hot Air notices.