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Michael van der Galien

Did Obama Accidentally Strip Congressmen of Health Insurance?

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Posted on April 13 2010 12:35 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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Now this is what I’d call ironic:

The perfect ending to a day that saw support for repealing O-Care reach a new high in Rasmussen (58 percent) and support for The One reach a new weekly low in Gallup (47 percent). Turns out that fantastically long, mind-bogglingly complex bills which no one has actually read may create unintended consequences. Remember how they forgot to require insurers to cover kids with preexisting conditions? Oh, and they forgot initially to let young adults be covered by their parents’ insurance until Reid fixed it in reconciliation. Now this. Who knew that when Pelosi said they’d have to pass the bill so that people could find out what’s in it, “people” meant Congress?

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.

Could we ask for more convincing evidence before being able to conclude that Washington is incompetent? I didn’t think so.

Although the above certainly is entertaining, it’s also troubling. As The Times rightfully asks: “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?”

The answer is obviously a resounding “no.” No, they did not and they did not care either.

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