HR3962 as Passed: the importance of close reading
by Bruce Webb
Affordable Health Care for America Act (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House).
Back in July I singled out what I thought was the single most important provision of the House Tri-Committee Bill in a post called Sec 116: Golden Bullet or Smoking Gun. Yesterday I followed up with a new post here called STILL the Most Important Sentence in the House HR Bill which cited the ALMOST identical language between Sec 116 of the Tri-Committee Bill and Sec 102 of the bill as brought to the floor and posted similar material in diaries at dKos, MyDD, and Open Left. Only to find out from commenter Gerald Weinand, who actually read the bill with close attention to detail, that there were significant changes in wording that drastically changed the impact of this language by shifting it forward in time and then sunsetting it.
I don’t know what to make of this change, but it is the subject of a LONG piece at the BruceWeb Read the Bill Part 3; and a possible reading error. In any event going forward I think it is vital that everyone be reading off the same page. The above link to the bill as passed may not be stable, if not you can search it pretty easily from the Thomas.gov site or use the pdf version published by the GPO: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h3962eh.txt.pdf
(Update: MG supplies a better Thomas link: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:h.r.03962 Thanx)
My personal belief and a hope is that a mistake has been made and that this provision was not meant to sunset when the Exchange starts operation, and that a fix will be made, it would be a true shame if the best regulatory control of insurance company profits just ended up on the cutting floor, either deliberately or by accident.