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September 17, 2007

Now That's What I Call Populism

My ace reporting reveals that one element of the health reform strategy Edwards will announce today is a bill, to be submitted on his first day in office, ending health care coverage for the president, the Congress, and all political appointees on July 20th, 2009, unless they've passed health reform that accords with four non-negotiable principles Edwards will detail in the speech. If they don't pass comprehensive health reform, they lose their coverage until they do.

Update: Okay, turns out everybody else's ace reporting uncovered this too. Nuts.

September 17, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

"Okay, turns out everybody else's ace reporting uncovered this too. Nuts."

Mizner scoops us all.

Posted by: Petey | Sep 17, 2007 9:37:06 AM

That sounds pretty damn unconstitutional, unless someone has repealed the 27th Amendment.

Posted by: Geek, Esq. | Sep 17, 2007 10:03:28 AM

Here's the 27th Amendment, for which Geek (an Obama groupie), has suddenly developed an abiding love:

"No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened."

To make sure the law is constiutional, then, Edwards should write it so that the cut-off wouldn't go into effect until the following Congress. That is, the deadline for passing universal coverage is mid-July. If they don't do so by then, they lose their benefits in 2011.

In any case, this is a political move by Edwards, not a serious legislative strategy.


Posted by: david mizner | Sep 17, 2007 10:12:47 AM

the goofy things people say to misdirect conversations

Posted by: akaison | Sep 17, 2007 10:13:57 AM

If Congress refuses to enact Edwards' health care legislation in '09, I'm happy to let 'em take a 27th amendment case to the Supreme Court to keep their coverage.

I'd be happy with the optics of that court case.

Posted by: Petey | Sep 17, 2007 10:18:17 AM

I'm happy to let 'em take a 27th amendment case to the Supreme Court to keep their coverage.

And have the law promptly overruled by Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Alito, and Kennedy.

Posted by: Let's be Realistic | Sep 17, 2007 10:37:21 AM

Well, as David (an "Edwards groupie" as he would doubtlessly describe himself) says, the proposal as you describe it is blatantly Constitional.

And, demanding adherence to the Constitution is not the same as having 'an abiding love' for any particular clause of it.

Sorry, but I've had enough of this administration treating the Constition as an inconvenience.

Posted by: Geek, Esq. | Sep 17, 2007 10:41:01 AM

Let's be Realistic, why would they care? The law wouldn't effect them as they are judiciary appointments and it specifically only goes to the political appointees. So whether or not they would overturn it would be based on it according with the Constitutional limitations. I think Edwards could organize something that would clear him on that front. He isn't the densest boy in the pack.

Posted by: Hawise | Sep 17, 2007 10:54:10 AM

As I noted at Matt's that would all depend on the definition of "compensation". Certainly health insurance is commonly included in a "compensation package", but then so are such things as gym privileges and transportation subsidies. Does the 27th amendment kick in every time a decision is made that changes a Congressman's income? Does that extend to changing prices in the cafeteria?

What is the legislative history of changes to the Congressional health plan, whether positive or negative since ratification in 1992? Did they all have to wait until after the next election? If not you have an issue of precedent. What was the definition of 'Compensation' when the amendment was introduced in 1789? I bet it didn't have a health insurance component. Now you have a question of 'original intent'.

This is what you pay lawyers for. Of course it is a political stunt, but I suspect you could keep it in front of the judges for quite a while.

Posted by: Bruce Webb | Sep 17, 2007 11:33:44 AM

Edwards continues to run a red-meat campaign, and liberals continue to be amazed at someone "speaking truth to power!".

Meet the new boss...

Posted by: skeptic | Sep 17, 2007 12:13:24 PM

That sounds pretty damn unconstitutional, unless someone has repealed the 27th Amendment.
Not just that, it also violates Article II, Section 1 and Article II, Section 1
Article II, Section 1


The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.


Article II, Section 1


The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.


Posted by: Thorley Winston | Sep 17, 2007 4:00:33 PM

So, why would Congress ever approve such a bill?

Posted by: Shelby | Sep 17, 2007 7:58:28 PM

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