When the Obamacare statute was first passed, it contained an amendment sponsored by Louisiana Senator David Vitter (R-LA) explicitly applying the requirements of ObamaCare to members of Congress. The president signed the bill.
But members and their staff were appalled as they came to realize the consequences of this bill. At present, members and senior staff get health insurance through the federal government and get a subsidy for three-quarters of the premiums.
But under ObamaCare, they would have to pay full freight for the premiums. ObamaCare subsidies are restricted to those earning less than 400% of the poverty level — about $80,000 a year. Since Congressmen and Senators make $174,000 and senior staff make close to that, they could not get the subsidy, making them pay upwards of $10,000 to $15,000 more out of pocket than they do now.
The Democrats in Congress wanted to amend the statute to strip out the Vitter Amendment. But Republicans refused. So the Dems went to President Obama who prevailed on the Office of Personnel Management in the White House to declare that Congressmen and Senators and senior staff were entitled to exemptions from the requirement to buy Obamacare policies since they were a “small business.” This ludicrous interpretation of the statue has kept them from sharing the pain of their fellow citizens since then.
President Trump should, at once, instruct the Office of Personnel Management to reverse its finding that Congress is to be treated as a small business and make its members subject to the requirements and rigors of Obamacare.
That’s one way — and a very good one — to get it repealed quickly.
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