Section 1312 of the healthcare bill passed by both houses includes (Section 1312(d)(3)(D)(i) at page 65) a requirement that the new private insurance mandates apply to "Members of Congress [including Senators] and congressional staff." Sounds good, right? Except that the definition of staff (in subsection (d)(3)(D)(ii)) is limited to "full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress." According to Senator Grassley (R-Iowa), this excludes those staffers not in personal offices, such as those working for and paid by committees or the leadership.
On Monday, Grassley sought an amendment that would extend the law to committee/leadership staff as well as to "the President, Vice President, cabinet members and top White House staff." The final reconciliation bill (HR 4872) does not alter the relevant part of Section 1312, meaning that Grassley's attempt failed. Meaning that staffers on the House Rules or Senate Finance committees who wrote the final law remain exempt. This loophole excludes "thousands" of Hill staffers, including 54 in Nancy Pelosi's office alone. Plus, of course, President Obama himself.
Meaning that some pigs -- still -- are more equal than other pigs.
(via reader Marc)