Sen. Edwards has a new TV advertisement about health care where he proposes the following law:\ \When I’m president, I’m going to say to members of Congress and members of my administration including my Cabinet, I’m glad that you have health care coverage and your family has health care coverage. But if you don’t pass universal health care by July 2009, in six months, I’m going to use my power as president to take your health care away from you.\ \ The problem is, Sen. Edwards doesn’t have the power to take health care away from Congress unilaterally — he’d have to propose a law. (Sen. Edwards himself has acknowledged this point.) And a law that takes away health coverage from Congress in July 2009 is unconstitutional according to the 27th Amendment:\ \No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.\ \ Thus, since the law would change compensation for Congress before the next Congressional election (2010), it would violate the 27th amendment. The Atlantic’s Matt Yglesias and All The President’s Spin author Brendan Nyhan agree.\ \ Today, Sen. Edwards is proposing unconstitutional gimmickry to pass universal health care. The last time he ran for president he opposed universal health care and attacked other candidates who supported it.
“Today, Senator Clinton made it crystal clear where she stands: she defends health care for politicians while millions of Americans and their families go without care.\ \ “Voters have a clear choice between John Edwards, who will fight to finally pass universal health care, and Senator Clinton, who seems intent on defending the Washington establishment.\—Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter, The Washington Times
\ “When John Edwards is president, he will name names and the American people will know which members of Congress are taking the money of big insurance company lobbyists and voting against universal health care while protecting their own health care. And unlike what happened in 1993, John Edwards will never kill legislation to give health care to ordinary people while letting the politicians keep their coverage.”