Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Possibly the greatest karmic unintended consequence ever...

Dear Representative Waxman,

How's this for an unintended consequence?
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.
But don't you worry - they'll be taken care of. And I'm certain that there won't be any other problems resulting from the implementation of a 2000 page bill regulating 1/6 of the US economy. Yes, yes, congresspeople are technically barred, since the President signed the bill, from continuing in the plan that they're in, and that was a mistake, but these are all smart people who want to control the economy. Surely they didn't make any other mistakes. Nosiree, only that wacko-racist fringe element in the country (that 58% fringe, according to recent polls) could have any fear that this might not be a panacea for all that ails us.

Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, said lawmakers were in the same boat as many Americans, trying to figure out what the new law meant for them.

“If members of Congress cannot explain how it’s going to work for them and their staff, how will they explain it to the rest of America?” Mr. Chaffetz asked in an interview.
The same way they've already explained it. Basically, "shut up. You'll get what we give you, and you'll like it."




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