Congress should not be exempt from Obamacare
The American people strongly objected to the President’s health care overhaul back in 2010. Congress ignored our objections and passed the bill into law without even taking the time to read it or understand the implications. Now, more than five years later, Americans are suffering from the law’s provisions. Millions of Americans have experienced a loss of health insurance, premium increases, and new taxes and regulations. Tea Party Patriots has steadfastly opposed the law because of all of its harmful effects.
The law’s primary enforcement mechanisms come through taxes and fees on individuals and businesses that do not comply with the coverage regulations. According to the law, Members of Congress and their staffers are required to obey the law and to participate in one of the newly-created exchanges, foregoing their attractive taxpayer-funded subsidies. Congressional staffers and Members have chosen to ignore the law and are currently enjoying an exemption from Obamacare that no one else in America has!
The issue is somewhat complex, but it’s worth examining. Under Section 1312 (D) of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), Members of Congress and their staff can no longer get their health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). They also lost a generous FEHBP subsidy ($5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for the family plan). But, rather than lose that benefit, Congress re-classified itself as a “small business” – an absurd designation, considering that roughly 20,000 people are Congressional staffers – so they could retain the subsidy.
If Obamacare is good enough for the American people, it ought to be good enough for our elected officials and their staffers.