John Edwards has a new ad focused on his threats to cut off health care for members of congress and senior federal officials if they don't pass his health insurance plan:



I've previously taken the view that this is probably unconstitutional, a violation of the twenty-seventh amendment. The Edwards campaign says that, as pertains to administration officials, he would seek a pledge from them before appointing them. They also take the view that legislation ending health coverage for administration officials and members of congress would stand up as regards congress because the purpose of Amendment XXVII is to prevent pay increases rather than pay cuts (I have no information about the legislative history) and that it's not clear it applies to non-salary benefits (which sounds tendentious to me).

Edwards' campaign also tells me "if they want to fight about it, it is a fight President Edwards would be willing to have - because it is time to hold leaders accountable." It's all good rhetoric, I'll give them that.

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