Is Congress trying to exempt itself from Obamacare?
Confusion over the issue will only stoke public concerns over the president's signature achievement.
Politico says "yes" and The Washington Post's Ezra Klein says "no." Confusion over the controversial issue will only stoke the public's unease about the key accomplishment of the Obama Administration.
According to Politico, leaders in Congress are holding "high-level" confidential talks about exempting themselves and their aides from joining the health care exchange, those government-regulated marketplaces for insurance plans they are required to join under Obamacare.
The stakes couldn't be higher, according to the website. If lawmakers exempt themselves, "they risk being dubbed hypocrites by their political rivals and the American public," Politico notes in what may be the understatement of the year.
There is a worry that the exchange will saddle staffers, especially younger ones who don't command large salaries, with unaffordable health care costs. Older staffers might leave, creating a "brain drain" on Capitol Hill. Even some members of Congress, particularly those who aren't wealthy, are worried, Politico notes.
As Klein explains in The Washington Post, this was never supposed to happen. During the debate over Obamacare, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) proposed the amendment forcing members of Congress and their staffs into the exchanges to embarrass Democrats. It didn't work.
"In a bit of jujitsu of which they were inordinately proud, Democrats instead embraced the amendment and added it to the law," Klein writes.
Confused? There's more.
It turns out that the Office of Personnel Management has the final say on which employees may have to go on the exchanges and hasn't made a decision yet. Some in Congress don't think there is going to be a problem, as Klein notes.
The Post quotes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as categorically denying the Politico story, saying: "There are not now, have never been, nor will there ever be any discussions about exempting members of Congress or Congressional staff from Affordable Care Act provisions that apply to any employees of any other public or private employer offering health care."
Is this a tempest in a teapot? Maybe.
One thing's for sure: The fights over Obamacare are far from over.
--Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr
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Next they will say they are exempt from insider trading laws. Oh wait, THEY ALREADY ARE
A "brain drain" on Capitol Hill? My God we could stand to loose 3/4 of those numb skulls up there!!
Maybe someone with COMMON SENSE will take their place!!
You’re be a fool for thinking these clowns are looking out for you or anyone else who isn’t part of their leftist political clique. Their using you and your family and everyone else so they can cling to their power.
Do we tax ourselves to bankruptcy to pay the Political Class to control our lives?
Alright "sheeple".. Feinstein exempts businesses in her little corner of the world from this pos legislation.. Congressional employees "can't afford" it and need to be exempted, BUT,,let's let them RAM it down the throats of the rest of the country! People who are against it understand it means HIGHER health care costs,not less.. People who support it think they get FREE health care or have a naive impression that this is the answer to escalating health care costs. Do they not read anything? Do they not look for the answers by doing their own homework on the
issue? Probably not because sunshine. lollipops and rainbows are just easier to believe in.
Do they not know or speak with any small business owners? I have not met one who plans on hiring or expansion,due to the costs and bureaucracy of this legislation. Legislative paperwork too large for anyone to actually READ..so just pass it. And every day you read about the massive layoffs and cutbacks due to the BIGGEST LIE EVER TOLD.
Proof positive the congressional leadership consists primarily of syphilitic morons.
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