August 2 2013
Remind me: Did we used to be a democracy?
Like Hadley, I am furious that Congress will be exempted from the harsh effects of ObamaCare.
Congress has once again showed itself as not the world's greatest deliberative body but as a privileged group that lives in a rarefied atmosphere where the effects of the laws it passes are not felt.
Your health insurance premiums are going to go up because of ObamaCare. Not so with Congress, which passed the law with a lopsided vote and with polls showing that the citizenry didn't want ObamaCare.
Like the rest of us, members of Congress and their staffs were dreading ObamaCare.
Lawmakers and staff can breathe easy — their health care tab is not going to soar next year.
The Office of Personnel Management, under heavy pressure from Capitol Hill, will issue a ruling that says the government can continue to make a contribution to the health care premiums of members of Congress and their aides, according to several Hill sources. …
Just Wednesday, POLITICO reported that President Barack Obama told Democratic senators that he was personally involved in finding a solution.
Senator Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican, had originally put into the ObamaCare bill a provision requiring Congress and congressional staffers to be covered under ObamaCare rather than the lavish policies we buy for them. It was for a while unclear whether the government would continue to contribute to their premiums.
If payments stopped, lawmakers and aides would have faced thousands of dollars in additional premium payments each year. Under the old system, the government contributed nearly 75 percent of premium payments.
Obama’s involvement in solving this impasse was unusual, to say the least. But it came after serious griping from both sides of the aisle about the potential of a “brain drain.” The fear, as told by sources in both parties, was that aides would head for more lucrative jobs, spooked by the potential for spiking health premiums.
I was going to make a joke about the alleged brains on Capitol Hill. But I guess if Congress is smart enough to pass laws for the rest of us and then find a way to escape our fate, then they are pretty smart. But not necessarily decent. Ditto President Obama, who knows that, if Congress were to feel the pinch of ObamaCare, repeal would be more likely.
Minority leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted that members of Congress and staffers must still enroll in ObamaCare. They just won’t see the ill effects the rest of us face.
Senate Minority whip John Cornyn of Texas tweeted that this is “an outrageous exemption for Congress.”
Good for Cornyn but this is more than just an outrageous exemption.
This is much more serious than a one-off self-granting of a privilege.
This is an outrageous example of our privileged Congress’ passing laws that apply only to us peons.
No doubt they'll be chortling over how they dodged a bullet while drinking call brand whisky and eating expensive steaks at fancy restaurants.