Independent Women's Forum joins a large coalition of free-market leaders and organizations representing millions of Americans to urge President Donald Trump to direct the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to rescind the Obama-era rule (78 Fed. Reg. 60653-01) that allows Congress to masquerade as a small business in order to force taxpayers to pay for their health insurance.
July 21, 2017
President Donald J. Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
On behalf of millions of taxpayers who are members and supporters of our organizations, we urge you to direct the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to rescind the Obama-era rule (78 Fed. Reg. 60653-01) that allows Congress to masquerade as a small business in order to force taxpayers to pay for their health insurance.
This ongoing fraud improperly allows Congress and its staff to avoid the pain the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is inflicting on millions of other Americans.
When Congress was debating Obamacare, the American people demanded that Congress subject themselves and their staff to the new system they were imposing on their fellow Americans.
Those demands worked, and before Obamacare passed the Senate in 2009, Section 1312(d)(3)(D) was included. That section requires members of Congress and their staff to buy health insurance through an Obamacare exchange, and unlike an earlier proposed version does not authorize an employer contribution toward their premiums.
The provision was set to take effect in 2014, causing panic on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress and their staff were desperate to keep their taxpayer-funded, gold-plated health care rather than go into Obamacare and pay their own way, as the law required.
After a meeting with Senate Democrats in March 2013, then-president Barack Obama personally committed to illegally exempt Congress from this provision of Obamacare.[i] And he did.
Obama directed OPM to issue a rule purporting that Congress, which has thousands of employees, is a small business and therefore: “the DC Health Link Small Business Market administered by the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, is the appropriate SHOP from which Members of Congress and designated congressional staff will purchase health insurance in order to receive a Government contribution.”[ii]
This fraud of instructing Congress to masquerade as a small business was the key to the scheme, because if members of Congress and their staff had signed up for Obamacare under the individual exchange – as any other American losing employer coverage has to – they would have had to pay their own premiums.
The House and Senate each filed a false declaration with the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority claiming to have less than 50 employees – an indefensible fact that was never publicly disclosed.[iii]
Fortunately, you have the power to end the scheme by directing OPM to rescind the Obama rule and issue a new rule that conforms to the statutory requirement the Congress and their staff pay their own premiums in the individual Obamacare exchange.
We urge you to do so expeditiously.
American Conservative Union
American Family Association
Vice President of External Affairs
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
Gayle S. Trotter
American Womens Alliance, Inc.
Andrew F. Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Center for Individual Freedom
Club for Growth
Citizens Against Government Waste
Consumer Action for a Strong Economy
Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund
Director of Legislative Affairs
Faith & Freedom Coalition
Senior Tax Advisor
Family Business Coalition
Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Vice President of Policy
Frontiers of Freedom
Director of Policy
Michael A. Needham
Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Action for America
Carrie L. Lukas
Independent Women's Forum
Heather R. Higgins
President and CEO
Independent Women's Voice
Institute for Liberty
Institute for Policy Innovation
Gregory T. Angelo
Log Cabin Republicans
L. Brent Bozell III
Media Research Center
National Center for Public Policy Research
Revive America PAC
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Tea Party Nation
Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party Patriots
Adams Auld LLC
Consumers for Health Care Choices
Strategic Coalitions & Initiatives LLC
David A. Keene