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.
In other words, members of Congress were stripped of their health care policies three weeks ago, and won’t be given new policies until 2014. This is, in a way, hilarious (and tinged with schadenfreude), although we all know that Congress will either disregard the error or quickly fix it. I guess it would have helped if they had actually read the damned thing before voting on it in the first place? Anyway, the Times points out:
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?
Unlike Congress, we can’t disregard or amend errors or flaws (or deliberate premeditated rationing and withholding of care!), nor can we expect them to act promptly and diligently on our behalf to correct things in our favor. AllahPundit ends with the question:
Exit question for lawyers: Who would have standing to sue to force the federal health plan to drop Congress now? Any citizen, or is it more refined than that?
Force the bastards to lose their coverage. They’re mostly multimillionaires who regard paying taxes as optional; so it would only be inconvenient for them, not life-threatening, after all. And then, filibuster any “fix” the Dems propose for ObamaCare which doesn’t “fix” (or repeal) the rest of the damned thing for the rest of us.