Yesterday, a shamefaced President Obama confided to his Cabinet members that he accidentally left a crucial line out of the recently enacted Affordable Care Act.
Specifically, Obama mistakenly omitted a clause known as the "Ph.D. Provision," which requires that any doctor engaged by an insurer to provide health services under the Act be an "M.D." certified by the American Medical Association - rather than, for instance, a "doctor" holding a Ph.D. in economics.
Obama told his Cabinet members that he discovered the error while deleting files on his personal laptop in order to free up some additional memory. In the process, the President came across a "track changes" version of the Affordable Care Act, which contained the Ph.D. Provision as originally drafted. That's when Obama realized that the provision hadn't made it into his final version of the Act.
"I was doing a bunch of cutting and pasting getting this thing ready for Congress," he explained to his clearly dismayed advisers, "and I kept going back and forth about which section the Ph.D. Provision should go in. I cut it from this one section and was going to paste it back in somewhere else, but apparently I never did. I'm so sorry, guys. I feel like such a loser."
Prospects remain hopeful for the Ph.D. Provision, however. After an impromptu emergency brainstorming session, Obama and his Cabinet members came up with the idea of filing a special motion in the currently pending Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, requesting that the Court paste the missing Ph.D. Provision back into the Act.
Obama stated that from a legal perspective, pasting the Ph.D. Provision back into the Act should have no impact on the law's constitutionality.
"If anything," he predicted, "it will make it even more constitutional."