Via Just One Minute (indeed…) comes your feel-good story of the day: Congressional Democrats have managed to thoroughly muck up Congress’ own health care coverage, particularly for new hires. Both staffers and legislators:
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.
I would take it as a personal favor if the GOP Senate were to send over a polite note indicating that they intend to filibuster any attempts to fix this. The average salary of a Congressional aide is over twice the federal poverty level for a family of four: let new hires buy their own darn health insurance policies. Not that they have a choice, thanks to the individual mandate…
Crossposted to Moe Lane.