Oh Goodie! ObamaCare Won’t Hurt Members of Congress or Their Staffers

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ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL
BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.

George Orwell, Animal Farm

 

 

One law for the lords and one for the peasants.  That basically sums up this development on Capitol Hill:

 

 

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.

Obama’s involvement in solving this impasse was unusual, to say the least.  But it came after serious griping from both sides of the aisle about the  potential of a “brain drain.” The fear, as told by sources in both parties, was  that aides would head for more lucrative jobs, spooked by the potential for  spiking health premiums.

Go here to Politico to read the rage inspiring rest.  We have the worst political class in our history.  One law for us and one law for them.

 

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18 Comments

  1. I guess I don’t understand. Congressional staffers are the only employees of a big business that are being forced onto the exchanges…just like “the peasants”, as you call them. And like any other employees of someone who has more than 49 full time staffers, the “employer” (government) is supposed to subsidize it, right? So how are these staffers being treated differently? They are supposed to be employees of a large corporation, be the only large corporation forced on exchanges, and then not have their employer subsidize them? Sounds like your definition of “fair” is for them to have it worse off than the “peasants” they are already on par with.

  2. The government is not a corporation. ObamaCare was passed with a provision expressly providing that members of Congress and staffers would have to be covered by it. What this “fix” does is to make certain that the members of Congress and their staffers will continue to receive their current 75% subsidy of their health insurance premiums by the taxpayers. This is being done at the same time that Obamacare is causing health insurance premiums to skyrocket and more and more businesses are finding ways, including by transforming their employees from full time to part time, to escape paying for employee health care under ObamaCare. The essential unfairness of this is obvious and damning.

  3. This was debated earlier in Congress, but they couldn’t come to an agreement. However, it seems this Executive Branch is all too willing to intrude on the responsibilities of the other two branches and even sidestep and ignore the checks and balances. We are witnessing the collapse of our constitutional republic, we are being left to accept an all-powerful executive branch.

  4. This is the second time that Congress has escaped the fate of the ordinary American: the first time was when they excluded themselves from the bonds of Social Security! Can you guess how many Representatives and Senators gained their wealth AFTER election to Congress?

  5. So the policy wonks on Capitol Hill, including the GOP ones, really are not gripping about the quality of Obamacare. They just want to keep their present level of employer contribution. Okay. Not very suprising.

  6. One can be against both Kurt. I think it fascinating that Democrats, and only Democrats voted for this monstrosity, who voted for it do not want to take the financial hit that Obamacare will mean for so many of their constituents.

  7. One can be against both Kurt.

    In the abstract, maybe. The financial hit that congressional staff would take if the OPM regulation went the other way is one that no one else would take under Obamacare — prohibition of an employer continuing its contribution to its employees’ health care.

    And I’ve looked at the plans on the DC Health Care Exchange that most congressional staff would have and its the same plans and the same doctors and the same hospitals they have now under FEHBP.

    Don, whatever legitimate gripes any may have about Obamacare, the complaints here are simply a crock of hooey.

  8. “The financial hit that congressional staff would take if the OPM regulation went the other way is one that no one else would take under Obamacare — prohibition of an employer continuing its contribution to its employees’ health care.”

    The law was written precisely so that staffers and their Congressional bosses would feel the full bite of Obamacare. There are precious few private sector employees who have their employers pick up 75% of the cost of their healthcare, which is the deal that staffers and members of Congress have. Of course this money doesn’t magically appear. Every cent of it comes from taxpayers, the same taxpayers who find themselves increasingly being shunted to part time status so their employers do not have to pay healthcare at the extortionate rates caused by Obamacare. One of my clients, a small businessman, is closing up shop because his healthcare premium is going up 150% thanks to Obamacare.

  9. Don,

    The provision for congressional staffers was not written precisely at all. It was a poorly and quickly drafted rhetortical slam. Nevertheless, I’m content that we can narrow the disucssion to issues of costs and can set aside any claims of inferior quality.

    I’m on the board of a small business. Thanks to Obamacare, our employee health insurance costs are being cut in half.

  10. “I’m on the board of a small business. Thanks to Obamacare, our employee health insurance costs are being cut in half.”

    Then your experience Kurt directly contradicts that of businesses like Olive Garden that are moving their workers to temporary status to avoid ObamaCare. I know of no business owner that is celebrating the advent of Obamacare.
    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/08/08/ap-small-businesses-look-at-axing-family-coverage-when-obamacare-hits/

    “Nevertheless, I’m content that we can narrow the disucssion to issues of costs and can set aside any claims of inferior quality.”

    How can we discuss inferior care Kurt until Obamacare is fully implemented? The experiences of families on Medicaid does not make me sanguine for the forthcoming victims of GovMed.

  11. How can we discuss inferior care Kurt until Obamacare is fully implemented?

    Well, it has not stopped some of the loud mouths in the TEA Party and the GOP, but I’m glad two committed Christian like us can agree that there is no current reason to say this is a fact.

    Then your experience Kurt directly contradicts that of businesses like Olive Garden

    Maybe, in response to an inquiry on my part, Oliver Garden/Darden Enterprises wrote back to me and substantial backed down from previous claims that had been reported in the press. (BTW, Olive Garden is not a small business but a large enterprise

    I know of no business owner that is celebrating the advent of Obamacare.

    I’m hurt you think you do not know me. We are thrilled with the oportunities Obamacare offers and the reduction it will have on our health care costs, as well as giving our employees more selection for health care providers.

  12. “Maybe, in response to an inquiry on my part, Oliver Garden/Darden Enterprises wrote back to me and substantial backed down from previous claims that had been reported in the press. (BTW, Olive Garden is not a small business but a large enterprise”

    Olive Garden took a lot of flak from Obama cultists over its decision Kurt and made like a dog on its back in the surrender pose. Judging from the story linked below however I do not think their policy has changed.

    http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/olive-garden-doesnt-like-the-taste-of-obamacare.html/?a=viewall

    “but I’m glad two committed Christian like us can agree that there is no current reason to say this is a fact.”

    I don’t discount the possibility that a pig will fly Kurt until I see the porcine go splat. The signs do not look good for Obamacare being a boon to anyone other than the hordes of bureaucrats who will be hired to oversee it.

    “I’m hurt you think you do not know me.”

    Like all people I encounter over the internet Kurt who I have not met in the flesh, you are an electronic phantom to me. The only story that I have seen about any groups being enthused about Obamacare are municipalities that are seeking to dump their retirees on to Obamacare. The retirees have not been enthusiastic:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-02/troubled-cities-see-exchanges-as-way-to-unload-retirees.html

  13. Don & Kurt: Shallow of me but your dialogue makes me think, the phantom strikes again. I mean you, Kurt. No anecdotal evidence here, I’m a retired person who has seen his insurance cost go up two grand per year since this thing was passed. My greatest fear is that Obamacare paves the way to the totalitarian state our country is becoming.

  14. William,

    Ok. You have fears and your policy has gone up. I understand that. But can you explain the connection to Obamacare? You’re retired, so are you speaking of a Medigap policy?

    Again, my firm is getting a great reduction in our costs from Obamacare. For us, it is a godsend.

  15. Kurt,

    I am loath to put too much personal business out in the wide impersonal cyber world but no, it is more of a Medicare Advantage plan through my previous employer. It is quite beside the point of my greater concern. That is, the aggrandizement of the state with its ever growing control of our private lives and disregard of matters of religious conscience.

    Bill

  16. Mr. Walsh,

    No offensive and I’m sorry for your increased health care costs, but I consider Medicare Advantage to be a giveaway of taxpayer dollars so I’m not too upset that the taxpayer funding has been cut back. I’m also not happy that the way Bush wrote the Medicare Advantage law that it allows abortion coverage.

    But I understand your big picture concerns. For me, I’ve never had much private control over my health insurance so I’m not in the same place you are.

Comments are closed.