Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Health care and the 27th amendment

Congressmen seem to be surprised that a provision of the kazillion-page health bill they voted for after a few hours debate ends their taxpayer-financed health plan. The Democrats might understandably want to get back their health benefits by quietly amending the bill after the election, or by bullying some poor bureaucrat into interpreting away that part of the law.

But the twenty-seventh amendment to the Constitution says that
No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
So unless the twenty-seventh amendment means something very different than its plain text (*), it seems to me that Congress can't get fed to the wolves like the rest of us until after the 2010 Congressional election, and they can't vote to save their coverage unless they opt themselves out before the election.

(*) this phrase may a sure sign that I have scientific mind and not a legal mind. Hallelujah!

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