Obamacare: Congress Exempt From Affordable Care Act
For Obamacare, Congress exempted themselves from the Affordable Care Act in a deal arranged by President Obama.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Obamacare implementation in California could be a disaster in terms of identity theft and fraud according to the California insurance commissioner. Another study claims the Affordable Care Act could cause people to leave their jobs and even Unions are criticizing Obamacare.
Recently, IRS workers unions said they wanted an Obamacare exemption. The rumor that an Obamacare exemption for Congress existed has been spread around by chain mails for years. This claim was shot down repeatedly by Snopes, PolitiFact, and others. Ironically, while Obamacare call center workers won’t get health insurance the Obamacare exemption for Congress just became reality recently.
Obamacare: Congress Exempt?
You might be wondering, “How did Obamacare’s Congress exemption come to be?” While both the business and individual mandate for Obamacare has been delayed until 2015, much of the Affordable Care Act is still steaming full ahead, with state exchange signups beginning this October. As it is now, taxpayers pay for almost 75 percent of premium payments as part of government employee benefits in Washington DC. But back when the Affordable Care Act was being written, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) inserted a clause that says all Congress members, and all government workers under the Office of Personnel Management, must be covered by healthcare plans created by Obamacare or through state exchanges.
This Obamacare stipulation would cause the premium payments of all government workers to skyrocket by thousands of dollars per year, not just members of Congress. Congress members in both parties fear this will cause a “brain drain” in Washington DC because they’d be forced to pay everyone more, which is unlikely under the Federal government’s budget crunch. The more likely scenario is that they might see an exodus of the most talented people finding better jobs in the private sector.
Even Republicans like Senator Tom Coburn desire an Obamacare Congress exemption:
“I don’t care what the answer is. Give us an answer so that if we want to do a legislative fix to take care of the people who actually work for us. I mean, they’re going to be the only set of federal employees that actually get paid by the federal government that have to go into the exchange. [OPM knows] the answer—they just won’t share it. And I want time to legislate on it before we lose half our staff.”
President Obama worked on the Obamacare exemption for Congress which says that “the government can continue to make a contribution to the health care premiums of members of Congress and their aides.” Obamacare’s Congress exemption is supposed to be approved next week even though earlier this year Congress denied any such Obamacare exemption negotiations took place. Critics claims Congress’s Obamacare exception will allow government workers to “purchase the most expensive policy available on the exchange and you and I will pick up most of the tab.”
To summarize, this Obamacare exemption does not mean Congressional workers are exempt from the Affordable Care Act completely. Instead, Congress desires that the rules be tweaked slightly for their particular situation. The situation can be compared to corporations who’ve requested Obamacare waivers.
What do you think about the Obamacare exemption for Congress excluding government workers from the Affordable Care Act?