Obamacare - Good enough for you, but not good enough for Congress
By Michael R Shannon
web posted August 19, 2013
If you want to get a very clear idea of the utter contempt in which our corrupt political class holds the voters who put them in office, look no further than the Congressional Obamacare exemption. Don't confuse this with previous exemptions a bystander Congress has allowed the Obama administration to award supportive unions and other politically favored groups.
This exemption is specifically for Congress.
Under Obamacare Members of Congress and staff are required to buy individual health insurance from state insurance exchanges, just like their constituents Ma & Pa Kettle.
Since the majority of members possess Anthony Weiner levels of common sense, this portion of the law they passed created confusion in that august body. What exchange should the staffers use; the one in the District (land of dependency and demagoguery) or the one in their home state designed by people not clever enough to make it to Washington?
Anyone smarter than a 6th grader could see the answer at a glance. Just as the DC staffers by their Viagra from CVS and the staffers back home frequent Wal–Mart, staffers based in DC buy insurance where they live and staffers back at home buy at home.
There you see? All better now.
Even this minor confusion shows why Congress' used–car–salesman level approval rating is richly deserved. Even Robert Pear, a reporter for the lefty New York Times was moved to observe, "The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?"
Any conservative could easily answer that question. Hell no!
But for the political class the ‘where' was not nearly as important as the ‘whom,' as in who pays for this wondrous new insurance coverage a benevolent Obama has given?
Currently Congressional staffers have a great health insurance policy subsidized by you! While they are beavering away, coming up with new ways to control your life, their Cadillac plans are paid for with a 75 percent, tax–free subsidy.
Now the policy and the subsidy disappear. Giving members and staff another chance to be like real Americans when they realize Obama's promise if you like your doctor and your insurance you can keep both, was just another Choom Gang alumnus blowing smoke.
This created a situation rich in unintended irony. As the Heritage Foundation wrote, "Members of Congress and their staffs are facing the same problems that confront millions of employers and employees—their fellow citizens—throughout America. They will be unable to keep the health coverage they have today, and will instead be consigned to the government health exchanges, whether they like it or not. In short, Members of Congress will feel the effects of their own legislative handiwork directly."
Naturally, this caused panic. In fact this unintended consequence was the only positive development to come from Obamacare. According to Politico, "Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.
The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive."
Great, self–induced term limits! Patchwork to be sure and no doubt short term, but a start nonetheless.
Other Congressional "leaders" feared the country would suffer from a "brain drain" as experienced staffers fled for the private sector where they are constantly assuring us they will make so much more money. My comment is, don't let the door hit you in the behind.
And of course our dynamic Republican leader is on the job. Rep. John Boehner — Mr. Solidarity with the common man — was hoping Sen. Harry Reid would create a legislative fix (apt word that).
When asked about secret talks to rekindle the boiler fire in the federal gravy train, Boehner spokesman Michael Steele said, ""The speaker's objective is to spare the entire country from the ravages of the president's health care law. ...If the speaker has the opportunity to save anyone from Obamacare, he will."
Keep in mind the "anyone" escaping in this instance are the same people making you live under the undiluted Obamacare regime.
Fortunately for the hand–wringing Boehner and shameless Democrats the decision has been taken out of their hand. They won't be forced to vote on Hypocrisy Bill 358. Pharaoh has spoken. President Obama intervened and ordered the Office of Personnel Management to decree the 75 percent insurance subsidies will continue for members and staff.
There is no provision in the law for this exemption, the OPM has no authority to issue the decision, but it's in keeping with the legal theory that if Obama wants it, it must be OK.
So where does this leave you? It should leave you enraged. These posturing Republicans who bravely talk about repealing Obamacare are as quiet as church mice in regard to exempting themselves. I've had enough and it's high time you felt the same.
Congress will be in recess soon and Senators and Congressman will be returning to their districts for town hall meetings. Go to the meeting. Take off work if necessary. Ask your representative if he and his staff are taking advantage of the Obamacare exemption.
If the answer is ‘yes' or he avoids the question (which means the answer is ‘yes') then you have a duty to vote against him. So what if he's replaced by a Democrat. Better a leftist than a liar.
If Obamacare is a litmus test on liberty, as Republican Members of Congress have been telling us, it's also a litmus test for those representing us. Any Representative or Senator who accepts the Obamacare exemption is a posturing Washington hypocrite and not fit to represent me.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at mandate.mmpr (at) gmail.com. He is also the author of the forthcoming book: "Funny Conservative" Is Not an Oxymoron. (Or any other type of moron.)