Rushville Republican

Columns

October 1, 2013

Too many Americans are totally disengaged

Can you believe that the Congress, including Republicans, exempted themselves from Obamacare? They, after all, are the ones who passed it in the first place for the rest of us. The hypocrisy of their action is truly staggering, and where is the public outrage?

Here are a few excerpts from an online Reuters article by David Lawder, which appeared on Aug. 7 that should help explain exactly what the Congress is up to: “In a ruling issued on Wednesday, [August 7th], U.S. lawmakers and their staffs will continue to receive a federal contribution toward the health insurance that they must purchase through soon-to-open exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.”

“The decision by the Office of Personnel Management, with Obama’s blessing, will prevent the largely unintended loss of healthcare benefits for 535 members of the Senate and House of Representatives and thousands of Capitol Hill staff.”

“When Congress passed the health reform law known as Obamacare in 2010, an amendment required that lawmakers and their staff members purchase health insurance through the online exchanges that the law created. They would lose generous coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.”

“But it soon became apparent the [law] contained no language that allowed federal contributions toward their health plans that cover about 75 percent of the premium costs.”

“But Wednesday’s proposed rule from the OPM, the federal government’s human resources agency, means that Congress will escape the most onerous impact of law as it was written.”

“The OPM said the federal contributions will be allowed to continue for exchange-purchased plans for lawmakers and their staffs, ensuring that those working on Capitol Hill will effectively get the same health contributions as millions of other federal workers who keep their current plan.”

“Republican Senator David Vitter vowed to reverse the OPM ruling to ensure that no members of Congress, neither Capitol Hill staff nor Obama administration appointees get any federal subsidies for health insurance purchased on Obamacare health exchanges.”

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