Congress Gets Their Own Obamacare Exemption

Some are calling this a waiver: it’s not. Senators, Representatives, and their aides and staff will still have to get their insurance through the Exchange

(Politico) Lawmakers and staff can breathe easy — their health care tab is not going to soar next year.

The Office of Personnel Management, under heavy pressure from Capitol Hill, will issue a ruling that says the government can continue to make a contribution to the health care premiums of members of Congress and their aides, according to several Hill sources.

The problem was rooted in the original text of the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) inserted a provision which said members of Congress and their aides must be covered by plans “created” by the law or “offered through an exchange.” Until now, OPM had not said if the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program could contribute premium payments toward plans on the exchange. If payments stopped, lawmakers and aides would have faced thousands of dollars in additional premium payments each year. Under the old system, the government contributed nearly 75 percent of premium payments.

As Bryan Preston points out, this ruling by OPM is illegal, as they don’t have power to change the law. But, then, they’re just following the lead of the White House and other Executive Branch agencies which change/don’t follow the law all the time.

But, how much is going to be covered? That’s the question, and we won’t know until next week, when OPM is expected to issue guidance and guidelines (I bet very, very quietly). Congress Critters, based on their salaries, would, under the terms of Obamacare, receive no government government tax credit, and would pay around $11,257 for a typical Bronze level plan (2 adults, 2 kids), based solely on the Critter’s government salary.

Based. On. The. Law., Congress should be on it’s own for payment. And, even if Congress likes their own health insurance plan, they can’t keep it. OMB has no statutory authority to provide any taxpayer funds to use to subsidize Congress and their staffs. Period.

Crossed at Right Wing News and Stop The ACLU.

Save $10 on purchases of $49.99 & up on our Fruit Bouquets at Promo Code: FRUIT49
If you liked my post, feel free to subscribe to my rss feeds.

Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed

5 Responses to “Congress Gets Their Own Obamacare Exemption”

  1. […] they can continue passing rotten legislation that none of them actually read before voting on.Via Pirate’s CoveTweetvaso linkgoogle_ad_client = "ca-pub-1395656889568144"; /* 300×250, created 8/11/08 */ […]

  2. Gail Combs says:

    “… they can continue passing rotten legislation that none of them actually read before voting on….”

    The American Spectator article from 2010, America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution, had a very good explanation for why Congress does not have to read the laws and why the laws have to be so long.

    It is a long read but worth every second spent reading it.

    The only serious opposition to this arrogant Ruling Party is coming not from feckless Republicans but from what might be called the Country Party — and its vision is revolutionary…..

    …the American people started referring to those in and around government as the “ruling class.” And in fact Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to dominate and fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country. They think, look, and act as a class….

    The Agenda: Power

    Our ruling class’s agenda is power for itself…

    Dependence Economics

    By taxing and parceling out more than a third of what Americans produce, through regulations that reach deep into American life, our ruling class is making itself the arbiter of wealth and poverty. While the economic value of anything depends on sellers and buyers agreeing on that value as civil equals in the absence of force, modern government is about nothing if not tampering with civil equality. By endowing some in society with power to force others to sell cheaper than they would, and forcing others yet to buy at higher prices — even to buy in the first place — modern government makes valuable some things that are not, and devalues others that are. Thus if you are not among the favored guests at the table where officials make detailed lists of who is to receive what at whose expense, you are on the menu. Eventually, pretending forcibly that valueless things have value dilutes the currency’s value for all.

    Laws and regulations nowadays are longer than ever because length is needed to specify how people will be treated unequally. For example, the health care bill of 2010 takes more than 2,700 pages to make sure not just that some states will be treated differently from others because their senators offered key political support, but more importantly to codify bargains between the government and various parts of the health care industry, state governments, and large employers about who would receive what benefits (e.g., public employee unions and auto workers) and who would pass what indirect taxes onto the general public….

    By making economic rules dependent on discretion, our bipartisan ruling class teaches that prosperity is to be bought with the coin of political support….

    That is why companies hired some 2,500 lobbyists in 2009 to deepen their involvement in “climate change.” At the very least, such involvement profits them by making them into privileged collectors of carbon taxes. Any “green jobs” thus created are by definition creatures of subsidies — that is, of privilege. What effect creating such privileges may have on “global warming” is debatable. But it surely increases the number of people dependent on the ruling class, and teaches Americans that satisfying that class is a surer way of making a living than producing goods and services that people want to buy.

    Beyond patronage, picking economic winners and losers redirects the American people’s energies to tasks that the political class deems more worthy than what Americans choose for themselves. John Kenneth Galbraith’s characterization of America as “private wealth amidst public squalor” (The Affluent Society, 1958) has ever encapsulated our best and brightest’s complaint: left to themselves, Americans use land inefficiently in suburbs and exurbs, making it necessary to use energy to transport them to jobs and shopping. Americans drive big cars, eat lots of meat as well as other unhealthy things, and go to the doctor whenever they feel like it. Americans think it justice to spend the money they earn to satisfy their private desires even though the ruling class knows that justice lies in improving the community and the planet. The ruling class knows that Americans must learn to live more densely and close to work, that they must drive smaller cars and change their lives to use less energy, that their dietary habits must improve, that they must accept limits in how much medical care they get, that they must divert more of their money to support people, cultural enterprises, and plans for the planet that the ruling class deems worthier. So, ever-greater taxes and intrusive regulations are the main wrenches by which the American people can be improved (and, yes, by which the ruling class feeds and grows).….

    The 2010 medical law is a template for the ruling class’s economic modus operandi: the government taxes citizens to pay for medical care and requires citizens to purchase health insurance. The money thus taken and directed is money that the citizens themselves might have used to pay for medical care. In exchange for the money, the government promises to provide care through its “system.” But then all the boards, commissions, guidelines, procedures, and “best practices” that constitute “the system” become the arbiters of what any citizen ends up getting. The citizen might end up dissatisfied with what “the system” offers. But when he gave up his money, he gave up the power to choose, and became dependent on all the boards and commissions that his money also pays for and that raise the cost of care. Similarly, in 2008 the House Ways and Means Committee began considering a plan to force citizens who own Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to transfer those funds into government-run “guaranteed retirement accounts.” If the government may force citizens to buy health insurance, by what logic can it not force them to trade private ownership and control of retirement money for a guarantee as sound as the government itself? Is it not clear that the government knows more about managing retirement income than individuals?….

    Boy does the author, Angelo M. Codevilla, have the current US government’s character nailed!

  3. gitarcarver says:

    And don’t forget the union comprised of IRS workers – the agency tasked to implement and oversee the ACA – is looking to be exempted from Obamacare.

  4. Gail Combs says:

    And don’t forget the union comprised of IRS workers – the agency tasked to implement and oversee the ACA – is looking to be exempted from Obamacare.
    Two classes, the ruling class and the sheeple.

  5. Gumballs_of_Tyranny says:

    I’m confused….

    Congress Gets Their Own Obamacare Exemption
    By William Teach August 2, 2013 – 8:56 am

    Some are calling this a waiver: it’s not. Senators, Representatives, and their aides and staff will still have to get their insurance through the Exchange

    You state that what is happening is illegal, yet you say that the waiver is not what’s happening, and then you state that OMB will seek to either give Congress a waiver or a benefit payment.

    I’m confused.

    Either the OMB is doing this or it isn’t. Doesn’t matter if it is illegal or not. That standard has been long dead and buried. The question is, are COngress members or the OMB seeking to make Congressmen immune from ACA? If so, then the rumors are true.

Pirate's Cove