Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The wages of haste 


Hours after President Barack Obama signed historic health care legislation, a potential problem emerged. Administration officials are now scrambling to fix a gap in highly touted benefits for children.

Obama made better coverage for children a centerpiece of his health care remake, but it turns out the letter of the law provided a less-than-complete guarantee that kids with health problems would not be shut out of coverage.

Under the new law, insurance companies still would be able to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem, said Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the main congressional panels that wrote the bill Obama signed into law Tuesday.

If you needed more damning evidence that even the White House does not know what is in its own legislation, that would be it. These are the wages of haste, and the direct result of the decision by the president and his lieutenants in the Congress to rush this through before the November elections loom too large.

MORE: Heh, nice headline.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Mar 24, 12:44:00 PM:

They just got overexcited about the expansion of government and forgot to pretend that they care about the children.  

By Blogger JustOneMinute, at Wed Mar 24, 01:33:00 PM:

Unless I am completely lost, Obama just signed the Senate bill passed last December; it is the proposed reconciliation bill that only saw the light of day recently.

*If* there is a real problem (and not just AP making up a story), how did Republicans miss it for three months?

And who really believes that some earnest Dem staffer fought off their hangover and discovered this problem just yesterday? *If* there is a problem (and apparently HHS will be issuing some clarifying regs), Dems have known about it for a while.

So what did Obama know and when did he know it?

Tom Maguire  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Mar 24, 01:43:00 PM:

*If* there is a real problem (and not just AP making up a story), how did Republicans miss it for three months?

Obviously they didn't, and allowed the Democrats to create an embarrassing trap for themselves. Same thing with this bill subsidizing Viagra for convicted sex offenders due to its ineptly crafted language.

You never interrupt your opponent when they're in the process of shooting themselves in the foot  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Mar 24, 01:55:00 PM:

I agree that *if* a Republican figured this out the smart move would be to keep his or her mouth shut, but I suspect that if the Democrats, with all their many staffers and experts, did not figure this out before the passage of the Senate bill, then neither did the GOP.

My guess is that various "pragmatic" Democrats did know, and they kept their mouth shut because they knew (i) they had to pass the Senate version in the house to get *any* bill, (ii) fixing this would not be the sort of thing that would fly on reconciliation, and (iii) too many House liberals would have walked if they had known about this problem. But that seems a bit implausible too, so I don't know what.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Mar 24, 03:56:00 PM:

Gee...if Obama's PROMISE to allow the bill to undergo public scrutiny (as a pdf file on the internet)for 5 days before signing it...maybe some interested party without an axe to grind would have found it.

It always pays to read before you sign. At least that's what our lawyers always told us.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Wed Mar 24, 05:10:00 PM:

No one has a good overall grasp of what is in the bill. The bill has over 2000 pages worth of impenetrable legalese. Writing the bill got farmed out to various staffers and do-gooder groups, who wrote away to their hearts' content. We might even find some college term papers tucked away in the bill somewhere. Maybe even some expense account receipts.

The old saw about a thousand monkeys pounding on typewriters to create the works of Shakespeare may apply to the HCR bill.  

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