American Elephants


Is Congress Beginning to Have Some Buyer’s Remorse? by The Elephant's Child

Some members of Congress have apparently asked the Congressional Research Service — an arm of the Library of Congress that does research for members and staff — to explain how the new health-care reform law would affect their own health insurance and that of their staffs.

The CRS says, in a new report, that the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.  The report says that 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.

As the New York Times says:

The confusion raises the inevitable questions:  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? …

And even if current members of Congress can stay in the popular program for federal employees, that option will probably not be available to newly elected lawmakers, the report says.

I have written several times that Congress went to great lengths to exclude themselves from the law, but I may have been mistaken.  They certainly didn’t do it on purpose, for their intent, as is true for most Americans, was to keep the health insurance they had and liked, and we probably won’t get to either.

I believe the word is Schadenfreude, a German word for which there is no real English equivalent.  It means taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others, which I freely admit.  I hope it’s true.  The law is a horrendous mess, and it’s past time Congress realized that as well.  Bwa ha ha ha.


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