Put Congress on Obamacare

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There are rumors circulating that our U.S. representatives and senators are discussing possible exemption for themselves and their staffers from the health exchanges that will be offered to federal employees by the Affordable Care Act. This kerfuffle, fueled by numerous press releases, including an editorial piece in the Aug. 5 Wall Street Journal, suggests that Capitol Hill officeholders believe that what will be good enough for most Americans will not be good enough for them or their entourages.

Whether or not such an exemption occurs, one must remember with bitter irony U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s 2010 remark during the original health-care legislation: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” Well, Ms. Pelosi, what is in the bill, which those who voted for it should have known in advance, may now come back justifiably to haunt them.

What is most disturbing about the current discussions, involving both parties, is the notion that public servants should be a granted a health-care privilege unavailable to private citizens who, in good faith, elected these 535 individuals. If Americans ever had a time to question the character and conviction of those in Congress, that time is certainly now.

As one who has voted for candidates of both parties over the past five decades, I am deeply disturbed by the present disconnect between our elected officials and their constituents. Between now and November 2014, knowing that the other shoe of Obamacare will not drop until after the election is over, we should ask those seeking re-election to embrace willingly the same health insurance issues that many Americans will face.

If they cannot or will not do this, then sentient Americans can do them a big favor: Return these legislators to private life to live it like the rest of us.

Comments (17) Add comment
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lovingthesouth72
1368
Points
lovingthesouth72 09/03/13 - 08:36 am
6
1
better yet

Better yet, just don't put anyone on Obamacare. It is the worst idea for socialized medicine ever yet to be created. NO to OBAMACARE!!

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 09/03/13 - 08:53 am
1
7
that "rumored exemption"

rumors about"....exemption for themselves and their staffers from the health exchanges that will be offered to federal employees [Congress] by the Affordable Care Act."

Can some poster please explain what the rumored "exemption" is????

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 09/03/13 - 10:18 am
1
4
rumored exemption?

So far, the silence is deafening. There IS an "exemption," isn't there?
The letter writer Devoe says he thinks Congresspeople and their staffs will be exempt "from the health exchanges that will be offered to federal employees by the Affordable Care Act." Is that true???

allhans
23641
Points
allhans 09/03/13 - 10:22 am
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1
Congress is not being

Congress is not being exempted as I understand it. They found AFTER the law passed that they would have to pay the same premiums as you and I and they went into a frenzy. Now the government will pay 70% of their premiums, this will not change the policy but they will get it a much lower price than the average taxpaying joe. I would guess that the ultra wealthy Pelosi, Reid and their comrades cannot afford to pay the going rate.

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 09/03/13 - 11:10 am
2
6
Congress is not being....

Well, well, allhans, Diogenes has been looking for you! An honest man at last. You are right: Congress and their staffs are not being exempted from the insurance exchanges, although you would never know it by reading the many, many posts here recently claiming they are. Members of Congress will have to go through the exchanges and have the choice of exactly the same insurance policies everyone else will have who has to go through the Obamacare insurance exchanges. You are also correct, allhans, that an arrangment has been worked out that while Congress will get their insurance through the exchanges, the costs of their policies will be paid for by the government. But this is NOT a change from before either, as the costs of insurance available previously through the old Federal Employees Health Benefits Program were also covered by the government. The "rumor" that Congress is exempt from insurance offered through the new Obamacare exchanges is not only a rumor, it is a lie perpetuated by the right-wing media and many right-wing posters to this site.

Bizkit
31329
Points
Bizkit 09/03/13 - 12:18 pm
5
1
Well Congress is mandated by

Well Congress is mandated by law to adhere to Obamacare-so there are no exemptions. Yes these crazy lies that people pass about Congress and Obamacare are no less lies than Obama saying Rep don't want 45 million people insured. So politicians are liars-what's new? Yes they will have to join the exchanges and the govt will pay 70% as before. But the problem is this is not before-all the players of Obamacare , like our youth, have to participate for it to work. So Congress needs to put their direct dollars into the Obamacare and not govt subsidizes by the tax payer-now we pay their income via taxes already but that is covered, but they need to pay for the health care directly from their salary. Seems a fair compromise. Why should they get all these perks? This reminds me of the lie that Rep are racist woman haters. It is getting ridiculous. Like Dems are baby killers-ridiculous.
Obamacare is suppose to work where everyone pays the same, regardless of condition, so now Congress is exempt from paying the same as all other players-not exempt from obeying the law.

dichotomy
32906
Points
dichotomy 09/03/13 - 12:30 pm
5
1
I'm sorry EEF but this IS an

I'm sorry EEF but this IS an exemption in every sense.

When they mandate NEW rules for us, and NEW taxes on our policies, and then exempt themselves from those new rules and taxes by having the taxpayer pay for their policies so that NOTHING changes for them but EVERYTHING changes for US, then that is an exemption in reality.

Anything that happens where Congress and their staff get a break that WE don't get is, IN FACT, an EXEMPTION. This crap of "well, they are just getting the same thing they had before" is BULL. We don't have what WE had before and WE are paying MORE FOR IT.

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 09/03/13 - 12:41 pm
1
6
dichotomy

Simple fact: for months, the right-wing media and posters here repeated over and over again that Congress had exempted itself from the health insurance to be made available through the new Obamacare exchanges. No matter how much you try to spin this issue, those claims were false. The fact that it has always been pretty easy to discover that those claims were false simply underscores that they amounted to lies. Yes, Congress is exempt from paying for their insurance now, but THEY HAVE AWAYS BEEN!

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 09/03/13 - 12:45 pm
1
4
Bizkit

As I understand it, not everyone (and I don't mean Congress) will have to pay the same for insurance through the exchanges. Depending on income, discounts and subsidies are available for many. Can you show otherwise?

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 09/03/13 - 01:16 pm
1
5
That "free" Congressional insurance....

Here is the interesting back story. During the negotiations leading up to Obamacare, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley planted a little trap in the legislation. His amendment required Congress (and some staff) to give up their FEHBP insurance and be required to get their insurance through the proposed new exchanges. Grassley and his fellow Republicans assumed the Dems who controlled the Senate would vote down his amendment, and when they did, the Republicans would have in fact and truth the political argument they have subsequently made as lies, that Congress had exempted itself from the exchanges. But surprise! Dems allowed the ACA to pass with Grassley's amendment, which had never bothered to include payment support! Of course the congress, hoist on Grassley's petard, howled and the support formerly available under FEHBP was made available for ACA. The Republicans howled just as much as the Democrats!

Bizkit
31329
Points
Bizkit 09/03/13 - 02:45 pm
4
1
Yes subsidies are for those

Yes subsidies are for those "eligible" which means impoverished-not Congress. I don't refute subsidies for the poor. I think the idea is the poor will pay the same as rich just subsidized. I was referring to folks who have existing conditions won't pay more than others is my understanding. The young will pay more to subsidize the older however. I love the political shenanigans and drama-this time a Rep, but Dems equally guilty of such nonsense. Until Congress can get on the same planet Obamacare will languish because of divisive politics. Promises to make changes in past negotiations is no longer acceptable with a history of ignoring to make promised changes. Neither side has a "good faith" attitude anymore.

dichotomy
32906
Points
dichotomy 09/03/13 - 04:10 pm
4
1
EEF....I don't care who

EEF....I don't care who howled........Congress and their staff have "Cadillac" health insurance. All of us, including the unions right now, will have to pay the 40% "Cadillac" tax. Congress and their staff will be exempt from this tax.

They have essentially exempted and insulated themselves from ALL of the negative effects of Obamacare that WE, the rest of us, will have to suffer through while we pay their freight.

Cut it anyway you want but this is an EXEMPTION. They will still have their SAME insurance.....WE will still be paying for it......and they will not have to pay the 40% "Cadillac" tax. The only thing that made Obamacare palatable was that Congress would have to get the insurance from the same places, pay the same prices (based on their income) and pay the same taxes. ALL THAT IS GONE.....THAT IS AN EXEMPTION.

And yes I know that a lot of people will be eligible for subsidies......THE USUAL SUSPECTS WHO GET THE FREE RIDE FOR EVERYTHING ELSE. THEY CAN PROBABLY SIGN UP FOR IT ON THEIR OBAMAPHONE.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 09/03/13 - 04:42 pm
4
1
"I'm sorry EEF but this IS an
Unpublished

"I'm sorry EEF but this IS an exemption in every sense."
The free loaders in congress and the FREE LOADERS THAT VOTE FOR THEM WIN AGAIN.

Bizkit
31329
Points
Bizkit 09/03/13 - 05:09 pm
3
1
Progressives are such

Progressives are such spin-meisters-lots of semantic games.

carcraft
25803
Points
carcraft 09/03/13 - 06:42 pm
3
1
The way I view it EEL is

The way I view it EEL is about 1/2 right. Members of Congress will have to register BUT they will maintain their current insurance with the same level of coverage and won't be taxed on it. It is sort of like registering for the selective service, it is required but signifies little!

Darby
25614
Points
Darby 09/04/13 - 03:16 pm
2
1
"Yes, Congress is exempt from paying for

their insurance now, but THEY HAVE AWAYS BEEN!"

.
And that's a good thing because....????

corgimom
32303
Points
corgimom 09/05/13 - 08:51 am
1
1
Members of Congress are

Members of Congress are Federal employees and have appropriate group plans available to them, just as all Federal employees do.

They pay 1/3 of the costs, just like many employer-sponsored health plans.

This is a non-story.

corgimom
32303
Points
corgimom 09/05/13 - 08:54 am
1
1
"Wyden and other members of

"Wyden and other members of Congress use the same health care program as every other federal employee, whether that employee works as a Forest Service manager in the Deschutes National Forest, as a meteorologist for NOAA in Hawaii, or as a janitor in the Bureau of Engraving in D.C.

The program covers 8.5 million employees and family members. Federal workers pay part of the cost for their health care. And like employees across America, they've seen those costs go up each year....

Wyden, for example, has selected the more generous of two Blue Cross Blue Shield offerings for himself and his family. The plan costs Wyden $4,279 this year with a $20 co-pay for most doctor visits."

And isn't it really silly to expect the Federal government to tax itself, so that it can take money from the Treasury, to pay back to the Treasury?

Why would anybody think that's a logical idea?

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