No, that headline is not a pop culture reference to the news that Jim Nabors (“Gomer Pyle”) has married his partner, though I was a little surprised that Nabors is still alive. Rather this refers to the “unexpected” news out today of more and more “glitches” in Obamacare as it rolls out.
First, it seems there’s a “glitch” that makes some low income people ineligible for coverage. From the Puffington Host:
Some families could get priced out of health insurance due to what’s being called a glitch in President Barack Obama’s overhaul law. IRS regulations issued Wednesday failed to fix the problem as liberal backers of the president’s plan had hoped.
As a result, some families that can’t afford the employer coverage that they are offered on the job will not be able to get financial assistance from the government to buy private health insurance on their own. How many people will be affected is unclear.
What? You mean the regulators couldn’t fix what the clever draftspeople in Congress wrote in the mule-choking-sized law?
Next, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning that some labor union members are suddenly, “unexpectedly!”, discovering they may not like Obamacare in practice:
Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour.
Union leaders say many of the law’s requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive. Among other things, the law eliminates the caps on medical benefits and prescription drugs used as cost-containment measures in many health-care plans. It also allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.
To offset that, the nation’s largest labor groups want their lower-paid members to be able to get federal insurance subsidies while remaining on their plans. In the law, these subsidies were designed only for low-income workers without employer coverage as a way to help them buy private insurance.
In early talks, the Obama administration dismissed the idea of applying the subsidies to people in union-sponsored plans, according to officials from the trade group, the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, that represents these insurance plans. Contacted for this article, Obama administration officials said the issue is subject to regulations still being written.
Unexpectedly! Moreover, how silly for any of us to cling (bitterly) to the old civics textbook notion that Congress writes the law. Both of these stories make clear that the real action is with the administration and the regulators, who are the real authors of most law today. Bring back the Constitution, I say; our Constitution may not be perfect, but it’s better than the government we’ve got. Maybe we’ll need Sergeant Carter to help sort this out for Private Pyle.