Congress Exempted From Obamacare?


Rick Unger

Forbes

Comment by Jim Campbell

If this was such a great deal for members of Congress and their families, why did they exempt themselves until 2014?

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, I’m J.C. and I approve this message.

Of all the many gripes and complaints directed my way when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, the one that appears to tick people off the most is a widespread belief that Congress has carved out some exemptions for themselves that provide our elected representatives with cushy health insurance benefits while the rest of us are left to experience diminishing coverage from employers or, come 2014, enter the unknown world of state run health insurance exchanges.

Sean Hannity at King of Prussia Mall, PAI certainly understand why people believe that this injustice is taking place right under their noses. Conservative media has told them repeatedly, and in no uncertain terms, that this is the trick being played on them by the privileged and powerful.

It’s a great story – but it certainly is not the true story.

Indeed, you may be surprised to learn that once the lion’s share of the ACA kicks in on January 1, 2014, not only are Members of Congress and their staff obligated to play by the same rules as the rest of us, they will actually be required to follow a more restrictive path to their health insurance than you and I.

The false narrative suggesting that Congress gave themselves a special deal appears to have begun with John Fund of the Wall Street Journal who wrote,

As the U.S. Office of Personnel Management notes, Members of Congress “enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country.” According to page 114 of the Kennedy bill, a similar array of choices would not be available to other Americans in the future. Instead, they would be shunted into health insurance plans under the straightjacket of whatever the government decides is a “basic” plan.

The goal would be to restrict care for the general public in order to control costs, while making sure Congress gets the gold-plated attention it’s accustomed to. Ultimately, the rest of us would be asked to trade a private insurance company as gatekeeper for a government gatekeeper. The difference, of course, is that most of us can fire our insurance gatekeeper. Just try to do that once the government fills that role.

This line of bull was peddled to an even larger audience by Sean Hannity, a man who never met a fact that he wasn’t willing to ignore while making up a new one to better suit his purpose. During Hannity’s Fox News program of March 24, 2010, Hannity stated, without reservation, that that Members of Congress and their staff were exempt from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

So, here’s the real deal –As things currently stand, Members of Congress and their staff, until 2014, will continue to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). This program, considered among the best in the nation, allows federal employees- including Members of Congress and their staff- to choose from a wide range of health plans and select the one that best suits their needs. Note that the current plan is neither ‘government’ insurance, ‘free’ insurance nor any other sort of sweet deal that the public has been led to believe is the case. The federal employee’s program involves private insurance policies with premiums, deductibles, co-pays, etc.

Here’s the surprise – come 2014, when the lion’s share of the ACA provisions come on line, Members of Congress and their staff will be required to buy their health insurance on an exchange. In fact, their choices will be even more limited than our own. While it is expected that some 24 million people will elect to purchase their health care policy on a state run exchange, we are not required by law to do so. Members of Congress and their staff, however, must buy their insurance in this way.

Section 1312 of the Affordable Care Act reads as follows:

(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE.-

(i) REQUIREMENT.-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are-

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7 responses to “Congress Exempted From Obamacare?

  1. This is old news.

  2. Federal health plans were and are the model and its not good for us. Looks good on paper only. Preventative care is sabotaged routinely and games are played worse than in plans that are regulated by state insurance officials who can currently stop abuses of private or private company plans. And worse of all is that no govt official will be in charge: all contracted out to Affiliated computer services and their ‘ affiliates’ and death panels are real as I am under an order ( witnessed) to : let her die. And since murder and attempted murder and other felonies are being done by govt contractors; no federal law enforcement agency has any jurisdiction to investigate, let alone refer for prosecution as Congress gave all govt contractors immunity from prosecution and they are not to be internally audited for use of monies or denial of constitutional rights. The only recourse is civil rights and contract compliance complaints and i just talked to a US dept of labor contract office and the gentlemen was not aware of this. Nor that his own OIG would not investigate thefts out of his own office should they occur as the Director of US dept of labor told me this personally after 23 years of disappearances of my files inside govt buildings as well as their contractors. Homeland security doesn’t pertain to any govt building. My biggest problem since injured 1/10/89 is files are missing when someone needs to review them and make a decision.The president needs another trillion or so to make up for the stolen monies/ Wouldn’t it be easier, Congress, to stop the thefts? Linda joy Adams with files and monies missing in 5 agencies in the company owned by the investors of the federal reserve where the monies were last ‘ seen” and never transferred on to the agency they were headed to or parties to which the monies were to be sent.

  3. That was a while back; however, I think I am correct in saying that the Muslims were also exempt.
    There were 12 of us that divided up the HCB” to see what was in it.”
    Didn’t like what we saw. There is where he got the funding for “his OWN Private Military.”
    Also written in was the dissolution of States’ Rights. Had it been 100 years ago, we’d be in a Civil War; however, now we take the War to the Courts and try to do it the right way.
    He deliberately stacked the courts against us by making sure “his” people got in.
    It is my belief that he is reallly pushing American Cities to break out in violence. He doesn’t know us too well. First we try to do things the RIGHT WAY. However, he highly under estimates U.S. Citizens. He, like the Saudi(s) thought we would just buckle under when in reality “WE BUCKLE UP!”

  4. Of course congress exempted themselves from Obamacare. They also exempt themselves from Insider Trading on Wall Street. Many a decent civilian is in jail doing hard time for doing things that congress does, but does it legally because they write the laws to omit themselves from laws that the rest of us are exposed to. This is FASCISM.

  5. I think congress and senate and all parties affliated with them will get an opt out as so many companies already have. No unions are subject to this or muslims. This is just glorified population control.

  6. Unfortunately Sharon, you are correct. My own doctor went OUT of Business. My brother in law moved his practice to Brazil.

  7. The writer is trying to convince us that Democrats are without guile and republicans are without good. Puke on you ya piece of puke. Pelosi said “we wont know whats in it until we pass it” THAT QUOTE SHOULD BOOT HER OUT OF OFFICE IMMEDIATELY and any reasonable liberal should HATE HER FOR IT…. and the phrase spread the wealth around that obama feels comfortable with… should make you puke in your pants. If it does not.. you are no friend of real Americans and phyck you

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