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April 26 2013

Dems in Congress: Finding Out What Is in ObamaCare Hasn't Been Much Fun

Charlotte Hays

Politico’s report on apparent congressional maneuvers aimed at exempting lawmakers and their aides from ObamaCare triggered a lot of fallout.

I’m not quite sure what to make of The Hill’s report that quotes Democrats—who apparently got hammered by Republicans after the Politico story—saying that they did not seek and would not vote for an ObamaCare exemption for themselves.

Seth Mandel at Commentary says that Politico didn't get the story right and that the issue was not an exemption but the difficulties congressional stff face in moving into ObamaCare insurance exchanges. Since the Affordable Care Act was passed unread, staffs were taken by surprise at how the system will work for them.

But the good news is that, whatever was going on behind the scenes, the exemption isn't going to happen—at least not for now.

Congress is going to be forced to live with the same monstrous system it has foisted upon us all.

If there had been an exemption, the GOP would have lost a valuable weapon.

If it happens that Democrats in Congress are personally inconvenienced by ObamaCare, they: A.) deserve it because they rammed the Affordable Care through Congress with scant public support and B.) are more likely to act to remedy the situation for the rest of us if it bugs them.

The Hill reports:

The controversy over an exemption is “completely made up,” the Democratic aide said.

The issue some Democrats want to address relates to the mechanics of moving lawmakers and staff into the exchanges. 

Normally, lawmakers and staff get their health coverage through the system for federal employees.

The federal government, like most large employers, makes a sizeable contribution to cover the cost of its employees’ healthcare plans. In some cases, the federal government pays up to 75 percent of workers’ healthcare costs.

It’s not clear, though, whether lawmakers and staff could keep receiving an employer contribution once they buy coverage through an exchange. 

The healthcare law doesn’t speak to that question, and the agency that manages federal benefits hasn’t yet made a determination.

If members and staff can’t keep their employer contribution, many would be forced to cover the entire cost of their healthcare plans….

There has been some discussion, aides said, of whether Congress should step in to ensure that federal employees who buy through the exchanges get the same employer contribution as the rest of the federal workforce.

That’s not an exemption, but it’s still controversial.

With all due respect to the anonymous Democratic aide, it does sound as if lawmakers and aides are looking for breaks the rest of us aren't likely to get. 

PS. Wes Pruden has a particularly hilarious column on escaping ObamaCare. He comes up with a wonderful way to describe our solons.

We must keep an eye on this situation--just to make sure people on the Hill don't go sneak behind our backs and obtain special treatment.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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