Obamacare: More Chinks in the Armor
Forbes Magazine and Politico are now reporting that, on Wednesday, President Obama personally intervened on behalf of Democratic senators to make sure that lawmakers and Capital Hill aides would not be hurt by insurance premium costs under The Affordable Care Act.
Politico says that the President delivered his commitment to subsidizing insurance premium costs for lawmakers and their staffs during remarks at the beginning of a closed door session.
The great irony, of course, is that these are the very same people who crafted The Affordable Care Act in the first place. It’s better known as Obamacare.
Just a couple weeks ago President Obama was bragging that Obamacare is reducing healthcare insurance premiums. So… what gives now?
What’s all the Hubbub About?
My interest in having Members of Congress participate in the exchange is consistent with my long-held view that Congress should live under the same laws it passes for the rest of the country
– Sen. Chuck Grassey, (R-IA)
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once famously said of Obamacare, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it”. Apparently, that applies to the people who wrote it to.
At issue is the discovery that when Members of Congress and their aides get “nudged” into the new exchanges in October that the federal government may not be able to pay any part of their insurance premiums.
That came about because of an Amendment included in the final law, proposed by Sen. Grassey, mandating that Congress move into the exchanges.
The insurance subsidies for low-income Americans built into the law don’t apply to most folks on Capitol Hill. They make to much money. 2,000 House staffers make six figure salaries.
At the time of writing, lawmakers weren’t smart enough to include special coverage exemptions for themselves.
It would not have been without merit to have done so, either. Most employers pay for employee health care. It is not out-of-bounds for the federal government to do so to.
But they didn’t and that is what everyone up on Capitol Hill is all bent out of shape over. That is why the President is personally intervening in this latest snafu.
As a result of the President’s actions, Congressmen and their aides will now have 75% of their exchange premiums paid, regardless of their salaries. That is just like they had before under their Cadillac plans. Congressmen and top aides make upwards of $250,000/yr.
“The Affordable Care Act” is the most complex piece of legislation ever written. Under fire, this behemoth healthcare dam is leaking like a sieve on steroids.
The latest news is that the President, 3 year later, has to make an emergency plea to save Obamacare’s own authors from it.
It isn’t that Congressmen and their staffs should not have employer paid health care coverage, they should. It is the fact the law is so badly put together that Congressmen created their own gotcha.
No wonder Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), one of Obamacare’s Senate authors, now describes it as a “train wreck”.