Sunday, April 25, 2010

IRT: Congress May've Written Themselves Right Out of Health Care Coverage

In reply to: The Oracular Opinion: Congress Wrote Themselves Out of Health Care Coverage

You folks did catch the fact that it's a proposal from a Republican, Charles Grassley, that's the major reason for this ambiguity surrounding the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program in the health care reform law that Pam writes about, right? (Sure, he blames it on unnamed "others," but the truth is there for all to see...)

Guess we won't be putting him on Mount Rushmore...

From the NYTimes piece Pam references in her post:
The provision governing members of Congress can be traced to the Senate Finance Committee. When the panel was working on the legislation last September, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, proposed an amendment to require that elected federal officials and all federal employees buy coverage through an exchange, “rather than using the traditional Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.”

A scaled-back version of the amendment, applying to members of Congress and their aides, was accepted in the committee without objection.

“The whole point is to make sure political leaders live under the laws they pass for everyone else,” Mr. Grassley said Tuesday. “In this case, after the committee completed its work, the coverage provision was redrafted by others, and that’s where mistakes were made. Congress can and should act to correct the mistakes.”
Just kidding, of course... I'm all for requiring lawmakers to be subject to the laws they pass (and thus think Grassley was right), and agree that their federal benefits should be no better than the ones the rest of us receive. (Glad to see they voted down the pay raise, at least...)

Posted April 25, 2010 2:01 AM

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