Americans are being sucker punched by one of the worst presidents in history. It beats me why there has not been a ground swell to impeach “His Highness.”
At President Obama’s personal request, the Office of Personnel Management decreed that the Members don’t have to get off the gravy train after all. The eat-your-own-cooking provision begins with the phrase “Notwithstanding any other provision of law.” The feds now interpret that clause as a loophole to mean that the Affordable Care Act did not change the 1959 law that created the FEHBP.
Since Members and staff still technically meet the definition of federal employees qualified for the FEHBP, the Administration says they’re still entitled to enroll in the FEHBP concurrently with the exchanges. The feds then “clarify”—their euphemism—that the regulatory meaning of health benefits in the FEHBP can be ObamaCare plans. Voila, taxpayers will continue to chip in $4,900 for individual and $10,000 for family coverage.
The charitable term for such legal gymnastics is creative. When statutes conflict, the bedrock administrative law obligation is to enforce the most recent statute. “Notwithstanding” clauses are routine catchalls that are supposed to emphasize Congress’s intent that a new bill is controlling and pre-empts other laws on the books.
The White House is claiming the clause means the opposite, as if the 2010 law and the 1959 law have nothing to do with each other. That is not how it is supposed to work. When Congress kicked itself out of the traditional FEHBP, it kicked itself out of the FEHBP.