As if we didn’t know this was coming… Congress receives a waiver exempting them from Obamacare. Waivers are being handed out left and right (just not to us “common folk.”) Did you hear about this on the news? Me neither. We’ll see how long this one glides under the radar, or if it ever gets picked up.
Now remember, in the initial draft Congress was exempt from Obamacare, until the public caught wind of it and threw a hissy-fit. Then, to appease us little people, they made themselves subject to it. Well, why not? They knew eventually they could just exempt themselves again. Which they just did… and now WE get to pay for their Cadillac plans. Aren’t we lucky?
The law says, “the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff … shall be health plans that are – (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).”
Further, according to Section 1512 of the law, legislators and staff “lose the employer contribution” that covers most of the cost of coverage. The amendment passed by Congress specifically requires that Members and their staff give up their generous Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan (FEHB) health benefits and, instead, purchase their health insurance through ObamaCare exchanges. In essence, Congress was required by law to be treated like any other citizen who lost the individual market insurance they liked.
Many who were critical of this law felt the reality of ObamaCare would prove so painful for Congress–as it is for many citizens–that the law would quickly be re-opened, heavily amended or even repealed with Democrat’s help. But that calculation must have also occurred at the White House. The Administration quickly came forward with an illegal sweetheart waiver for Congress alone.
Congressional leaders from both parties quietly and gratefully accepted the special deal from the administration’s Office of Personnel Management. It gives legislators and staff “Gold Level” ObamaCare coverage with a 75 percent subsidy paid by taxpayers or even the option of opting out and retaining their previous heavily subsidized plan. The income of members and staff is simply not counted.
This is in direct violation of the specific language of the law Congress enacted. The White House broke its own law to provide Congress ObamaCare gold and then fraudulently administered it through the District of Columbia’s Small Business Healthcare Exchange. In order to get their waiver, representatives of the House and Senate signed documents, under penalty of perjury, that each body employed no more than 50 people. To date more than 13,000 members and staff have signed up with the help of another gift–a dedicated team assigned only to Congress.
Presidential candidates who hold Senate jobs are now scouring the nation for financial help for their ambitions. But small and large donors should use their own “power of the purse” to deny them such funds until Congress stops acting as if it were above the very law that it enacted. This White House “gift” was a bribe, pure and simple, designed to quell dissatisfaction with ObamaCare in Congress that would fairly reflect exactly what millions of constituents are feeling.
You can read the full story at TheHill.
Photo credit TheRealRevo.com