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?
The law promises that people can keep coverage they like, largely unchanged. For members of Congress and their aides, the federal employees health program offers much to like. But, the report says, the men and women who wrote the law may find that the guarantee of stability does not apply to them.
The rest here: http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/the-dems-just-screwed-themselves-out-of-their-own-benefits/
As it turns out, our socialist healthcare overlords may be subjected to a fine, as well.
Congress may be fined tens of millions of dollars a year under its own health-care law, in part because the bill dumps members of Congress and their staffs from their current health-care plans.
But no one really knows for sure what the bill does, not even the experts. For instance, exactly who qualifies as an “employer” — and therefore is subject to fines up to $3,000 per employee — is undefined in the bill.
If Congress were subject to a $3,000 fine for each of its employees, it would need to shell out approximately $50 million each year to Uncle Sam. Congress’s research arm, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), informally confirmed the possibility to Republican aides.
Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama’s top health-care cabinet official, will be responsible for establishing most of the details of how the law is implemented. Many Republicans who have raised the issue of Congress’s fining itself believe Sebelius likely will exempt Congress with a regulation narrowly defining “employer,” for instance.
Still, the possibility of the fines, and the uncertainty surrounding them, are drawing heckles from the health-care law’s critics.
“That’s the irony — here we may be the first major employer in the country to be fined for not providing proper health insurance for our employees,” Rep. Dan Lungren, California Republican, told The Daily Caller while laughing. “Isn’t that contrary to the very premise of the bill?”
State and local governments may be on the hook for the fines, but unlike for members of Congress and their staffs, the health-care bill doesn’t specifically dump them from their health-care plans.
Before Congress incurs any fines, a complex series of events would be required to happen under the law. Generally speaking, a lower-tier aide — one not making a six-figure salary like some 2,000 House employees — would have to apply for government subsidies. The way the law works is that employers incur a $2,000 or $3,000 fine for each employee, depending on the circumstances, if only one of their employees obtains the subsidies.
More here: http://dailycaller.com/2010/04/19/congress-may-get-fined-by-its-own-health-care-law/
Too bad they didn’t bother to read the bill before they rammed it through the legislature.