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.There must be a “how dumb are they?” joke that is just perfect for this moment. The whole damn Democratic caucus was so smug when they passed this crap sandwich. What do they say-act in haste, repent at leisure?
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.
No doubt this little oversight will be fixed. In the mean time, let’s all have a good laugh.