... The new health care law exempts the president from having to participate in it. Leadership and committee staffers in the House and Senate who wrote the bill are exempted as well. A weasel-worded definition of "staff" includes only the members' personal staff in the new system; the committee staff that drafted the legislation opted themselves out. Because they were more familiar with the contents of the law than anyone in the country, it says a lot that they carved out their own special loophole. Anyway, the law is intended to affect "ordinary Americans," according to Vice President Joe Biden (who - being a heartbeat away from the presidency - also is not covered), not Washington insiders. Mr. Obama frequently tossed around the talking point that the new law gave people the same type of coverage as Congress enjoyed. In his March 20 health care pep talk to wavering Democrats on Capitol Hill, the president said one of the advantages of the health care legislation was that "people will have choice and competition just like members of Congress have choice and competition." At yesterday's signing ceremony, Mr. Obama said Americans will be "part of a big pool, just like federal employees are part of a big pool. They'll have the same choice of private health insurance that members of Congress get for themselves." But the American people will have a public pool; the executive branch and congressional staffers kept their country-club pool private. Last year, Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, spearheaded efforts to have all Americans included in the plan, but he ran into heavy opposition. ...Update: Multiple sources find that Congressmen and their personal staffs have to go under ObamaCare (maybe they have their own private pool, versus the public pool they force us into, as the Washington Times described above), but Congressional committee staff and leadership staff will not be required to participate. Politico CBS
One such surprise is found on page 158 of the legislation, which appears to create a carve out for senior staff members in the leadership offices and on congressional committees, essentially exempting those senior Democrat staffers who wrote the bill from being forced to purchase health care plans in the same way as other Americans.