Let me begin by answering my own question. Education Reform was one of many "carrots" that were used to purchase votes for the contrived Health Care Legislation. The problem with the language in the Education (Pell Grant) reform is that it was hedged in vague language so it did not have to be scored by the CBO (Congressional Budget Office).
WHAT? You mean that the Democrats were hiding costs in the Health Care Legislation to make it appear Deficit Neutral? If anyone still believes that this Bill is Deficit Neutral, please read my review that provides six specific points on how you were duped. This horrid legislation was rushed through Congress because they didn't want to give anyone a chance to pick the Bill apart before it became law. Incredible pressure from constituents added urgency as Congressman floundered as to whether they should vote for this. I am still waiting to see how Stupak's vote was purchased...because it had nothing to do with Abortion. Stupak understands that an Executive Orden cannot trump the language in this Bill that is now Law that seems to condone the use of public funds for abortion.
But I digress. Education Reform. What is THIS going to cost. It isn't a big measure, but it IS yet another unfunded mandate. This mandate requires Pell Grants to track inflation. My own child receives this grant, but I am against the language being in THIS bill. It does not belong here and the backroom deals make it distasteful to me. Do deals like this out in the open where people can debate THIS legislation APART from Health Reform.
The language appears to simply tie Pell Grants to inflation (and prevents the maximum award from being reduced). That sounds reasonable enough, but it is a budget issue and has not been paid for. If they really wanted to fix Pell Grants (in a separate Bill) they might have started with the half a Billion dollars a year that Pell pays to the questionable University of Phoenix. But I am concerned with the cost of the inflationary measure. The conservative Heritage Foundation estimates that the hidden "welfare" related spending such as Education will cost tax-payers an additional 523 Billion dollars over ten years. Those are additional Unfunded Mandates aside from the mandates that are going to be shouldered by the States!
So here we sit two days after the passage of this law and already two major issues. The first day we learned that there was a gap in coverage for children, which would not kick in until 2014. I don't know how that was scored and how it will affect the budget, but it is indicative of the rush job to get this bill through before it could be analyzed. The second day we find that Pell Grants are unfunded and not scored. Because of Parliamentary Rules, the fiscal aspects of that rider will require another vote in the House. But the damage is done. And people still believe that this Law will not affect them personally in a negative way. YES, you get treats. But everyone is going to feel the pain when these hidden costs come to light.