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Exempting Congress From Obamacare

Posted by on Apr. 29, 2013 at 6:55 AM
  • 17 Replies
1 mom liked this

image


The Members try to protect themselves from 'Medicaid plus.'

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

April 28, 2013, 5:53 p.m. ET

The Politico website broke the story Thursday morning that Congressional leaders were in hush-hush talks to exempt themselves and their staff from the wonders of ObamaCare. The story succeeded in blowing up the talks, but there's a bigger story here about Congressional intentions that is worth telling.

House Speaker John Boehner quickly took to Twitter after the Politico story appeared, saying that he's not "sneaking any language into bills to solve" a problem for Democrats. He added that full repeal of the law is "the solution to this & other ObamaCare nightmares."

We're told that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer initiated the discussions. Mr. Reid now says he's not trying to exempt anyone from the law. Mr. Hoyer's spokesman says only that the Maryland Democrat wants the law to be "workable for everyone."

Mr. Reid's office says he merely wants to ensure that the generous subsidies in the current federal-employee health plan can continue to flow to Congressional staff once they are required to obtain coverage via ObamaCare's new insurance exchanges. Since insurance companies are referring to the ObamaCare policies that will be offered on exchanges as "Medicaid plus," you can see why Congress wants to protect its own.

The larger truth here is that this story goes back to 2009, when Democrats who passed ObamaCare tried repeatedly to exempt themselves or their key aides. Their problem was Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), who for years has maintained the heretical belief that politicians ought to obey the laws they write for everyone else. In 1995, he sponsored the Congressional Accountability Act, which for the first time applied to Congress various civil rights, employment and labor laws that the politicians had imposed on the rest of the country.

In September 2009, Mr. Grassley thought he had succeeded in doing the same for health care when the Senate Finance Committee approved his amendment to require Members of Congress and staff to obtain insurance via the new ObamaCare exchanges. But when Mr. Reid brought the bill to the floor that December, its language had mysteriously changed to exempt those Congressional aides who work for committees and party leaders.

In March 2010 Mr. Grassley tried again to apply the law to all Congressional personnel and to White House officials. His amendment received every Republican vote but it was defeated with 55 Democrats (plus Socialist Bernie Sanders) voting no. However, thanks to Mr. Grassley's earlier success, the law still covered Members of Congress and some of their aides—hence their latest effort to wiggle out of the ObamaCare mandates.

In 2010 Mr. Grassley created enough of a political headache that Mr. Obama was compelled to say that he would personally join a new insurance exchange. This was an empty gesture since the President has no need for health insurance. He has a team of people devoted to his health and surely no one asks him to present a card to receive treatment.

Congress will eventually find some way to protect itself, but its subterranean scrambling to do so exposes one of ObamaCare's greatest deceits: That if you like the insurance you have, you'll be able to keep it. Even the people who wrote the law don't believe it.

by on Apr. 29, 2013 at 6:55 AM
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Replies (1-10):
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 6:57 AM
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Because under the Constitution, all Americans have equal protection under the law.

But, as they sayin Animal Farm, we are all equal; some of us are just more equal than others.

susan115
by on Apr. 29, 2013 at 7:48 AM
1 mom liked this

They said they won't change it, but we know they will.  I remember in the 1990's, we the people, we upset with congress giving themselves a raise, again said the won't do it.  Well, they had a vote in the middle of the night and gave themselves a big raise.  But, wait for it...again it was the democrats that got the ball rolling.  Oh!  And again, in the late 70's and early 80's they did it.  But, liberals are just so, so, so, so much smarter than me.  See, I don't even have to use a link, but I can use my critical thinking skills to come up with an opinion.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 8:03 AM

I'm glad that you agree that different laws (eg, health coverage) for Congress and We the People is not fair, and a bad idea.

Re: pay, were you referring to Obama's Executive Order in December 2012 for an increase? Or are you talking about the automatic pay increases where Congress has had to specifically vote NOT get a raise? Crazy laws, I agree.

I don't disagree with you that many Republicans are just as much involved in this health care exemption as Democrats. But why do you think Democrats like Nancy Pelosi are saying they deserve that raise (unlike the American people, who apparently don't deserve raises, or even jobs.)


Quoting susan115:

They said they won't change it, but we know they will.  I remember in the 1990's, we the people, we upset with congress giving themselves a raise, again said the won't do it.  Well, they had a vote in the middle of the night and gave themselves a big raise.  But, wait for it...again it was the democrats that got the ball rolling.  Oh!  And again, in the late 70's and early 80's they did it.  But, liberals are just so, so, so, so much smarter than me.  See, I don't even have to use a link, but I can use my critical thinking skills to come up with an opinion.



Analeigh2012
by Silver Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 8:26 AM
1 mom liked this
I have long had respect for Senator Grassley because of his effort here - even as a liberal I applauded he had an opinion, spoken it and has held true to it. I agree and f we all have to suffer this ill conceived nightmare called ACA, then lawmakers should as well!
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3lilladies81
by Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 8:30 AM
Well no one saw that coming. They deserve better pay and benefits after all they work so hard to make our country a better place. "BIG FAT EYEROLL"
JakeandEmmasMom
by Gold Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 8:35 AM

 Ridiculous.  We need to demand that congress live by the laws it passes.  Our lawmakers were never intended to be a distinct class. 

JanuaryBaby06
by Gold Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Good call! I love that quote! That book was amazing!

Quoting SallyMJ:

Because all Americans have equal protection under the law.

But, as they said in Animal Farm, we are all equal; some of us are just more equal than others.


 

rccmom
by Gold Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 2:08 PM
1 mom liked this

Congress never has health care like the rest of Americans. Why should they start now? They would have fixed the health care fiasco in the country long ago if they had to put up with the health care most Americans deal with. 

susan115
by on Apr. 29, 2013 at 3:58 PM
1 mom liked this


Sally, I did forget about the recent pay raises. Again, the liberals getting the ball on "them" getting the raises.  I don't know what they studied in school because I do remember what the definition of civil service is.  Also, one of the reason they had great benefits packages was because they worked for less than their private counterparts got.  It was suppose to balance it out.  Strange, that we don't pay more attention to details.  Well...conservations do because they are the adults in the room.

Quoting SallyMJ:

I'm glad that you agree that different laws (eg, health coverage) for Congress and We the People is not fair, and a bad idea.

Re: pay, were you referring to Obama's Executive Order in December 2012 for an increase? Or are you talking about the automatic pay increases where Congress has had to specifically vote NOT get a raise? Crazy laws, I agree.

I don't disagree with you that many Republicans are just as much involved in this health care exemption as Democrats. But why do you think Democrats like Nancy Pelosi are saying they deserve that raise (unlike the American people, who apparently don't deserve raises, or even jobs.)


Quoting susan115:

They said they won't change it, but we know they will.  I remember in the 1990's, we the people, we upset with congress giving themselves a raise, again said the won't do it.  Well, they had a vote in the middle of the night and gave themselves a big raise.  But, wait for it...again it was the democrats that got the ball rolling.  Oh!  And again, in the late 70's and early 80's they did it.  But, liberals are just so, so, so, so much smarter than me.  See, I don't even have to use a link, but I can use my critical thinking skills to come up with an opinion.





SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Lots of great lines from the book - that is probably my favorite.

Isn't it weird how so much of that book - written in the 30s or 40, if I'm not mistaken - applies to our world today?


Quoting JanuaryBaby06:


Good call! I love that quote! That book was amazing!

Quoting SallyMJ:

Because all Americans have equal protection under the law.

But, as they said in Animal Farm, we are all equal; some of us are just more equal than others.





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