The Blog

Oops: Congress Won't Even Be Able to Keep the Plans They Have Under Obamacare

11:10 AM, Apr 13, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

"Significant unintended consequences." Who woulda thunk it?

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 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?

Good to see the New York Times is now curious about that question, after the bill has passed. Priorities. You can't let landmark legislation and the Obama legacy suffer just because a bunch of right-wingers are fearmongering with their obvious questions and legitimate concerns, people.

But don't worry. They'll take care of it, because it affects them. You? Let's face it. You're probably on your own:

Congress must now decide what steps, if any, it can take to deal with the problem. It could try for a legislative fix, or it could adopt internal policies to minimize any disruptions.

And, the kicker— even the Congressional Research Service can't figure this bill out:

“This omission, whether intentional or inadvertent, raises questions regarding interpretation and implementation that cannot be definitively resolved by the Congressional Research Service,” the report says. “The statute does not appear to be self-executing, but rather seems to require an administrating or implementing authority that is not specifically provided for by the statutory text.”

I'm assuming you don't have a research service dedicated to figuring out how this bill will affect you. Yeah, me neither. I don't know whether to feel worse or better about the fact that it probably wouldn't help if I did.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers