Congress Doesn’t Have ObamaCare So Why Should We The People?

Congress has long been dysfunctional, on both sides of the aisle (20% approval rating), and actually just like Senator McCain said upon his return from brain cancer treatment to vote on repealing Obama Care “We keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle,” McCain said, and whose no vote failed the repeal. “Why don’t we try the old way of legislating in the Senate?”

You know that may actually work when necessary to come to a consensus through compromise in order to pass laws and enact legislation. However, Congress also passed laws to bypass what the rest of us common folk are forced to live with, namely Affordable Care Act aka Obama Care.

Here’s how it went down. Late at night in March 2010 in its rush to enact the Obamacare bill, Congress voted itself out of its own employer-sponsored health insurance coverage—aka Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Section 1312(d)(3)(d), hidden deep in the thousands and thousands of pages, required members of Congress (and staff) to enroll in the new health exchange system. Ok but where’s the scam? Keep reading and I’ll explain it.

ObamaCareBy doing this the House and Senate had quietly taken a “Congressional waiver” from the administration that puts them above the law that was specifically amended to include Congress. The law says, “the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff … shall be health plans that are – (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).”  In essence Congress was required by law to be treated like any other citizen and purchase Obamacare.  Got it?  They had to leave the one plan they were in and were forced to take Obamacare.

Realizing what they had done, congressional leaders sought desperately to get fatter taxpayer subsidies in the Obamacare exchange system. From 2010 to 2013, House and Senate leaders schemed to get extra taxpayer subsidies—past “the Tea Party rabble”—without a lot of noise, and secure a nice, quiet “administrative” remedy from the Obama administration and Obamacare.

Their hopes centered on a compliant Office of Personnel Management, the agency that administers the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, providing the unauthorized relief. No recorded votes. No ugly floor fights.

So, on Aug. 7, 2013, just as Congress was getting out of town for the August recess, the Office of Personnel Management ruled that members of Congress and staff enrolled in the exchange program would get Federal Employees Health Benefits Program subsidies, even though they were no longer in the program. There’s the scam folks right there!

In a second iteration of its rule-making, the Office of Personnel Management declared that Congress and staff were eligible to enroll in the Washington, D.C., “SHOP” Exchange, a health insurance exchange reserved for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The exchange offers special insurance subsidies to participating small businesses. Congress declared itself a small business.

The problem was, of course, that Congress is not a “small business,” at least under any clinically sane definition of the term, and no section of the Affordable Care Act provided for any congressional exemption from the ban on large employer participation in the SHOP exchanges. It’s hard to imagine a more arbitrary ruling. Do you see the problem here they faced? Congress with all its members and staffers totaled over 13,000 people yet someone from Congress submitted affidavits fraudulently; they declared themselves a business with less than 50 employees (15 in the House and 15 in the Senate). FOIA requests to find out who signed and pledged that Congress only had 30 employees have gone unheeded and no-one knows which congressman/s submitted the affidavit.

And here’s how they got around it.  Members of Congress and their designated “official office” staff are insured through the District of Columbia’s small business exchange — but they receive a one-of-a-kind subsidy from their employer (us taxpayers) of up to $12,000, or about 70% of their premiums via the old Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Could you use $12,000 a year to help with your premium? I bet you and your family could!

Congressmen from both sides schemed and falsified documents that designated Congress as a small business with less than 15 employees, and in the process got all the money from OPM to subsidize (using taxpayers money) to pay their huge premium’s that we’re all forced to live with. After all remember what Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) said, “we have to pass the act to see what’s in it.” They knew it was one of the worst pieces of legislation and while it covered millions, many millions more simply couldn’t afford the high premiums. But why should they care their plan is called “Gold Level” Obamacare.

Ask any Congressman whether they have Obamacare like us and they’ll all answer, “why yes we do.” What they won’t tell you though is that we taxpayers pay their high premiums, and therein lies the problem they’re liars and cheats.

On that note, Senator McCain’s recent and tragic brain cancer diagnosis is requiring him to be seen at the Mayo Clinic right here in Scottsdale and down the street from my house. Why though would a disabled veteran simply not use the VA healthcare System us other disabled veterans are forced to use? Or, how is he able to get such expensive care by using Obamacare? It’s because us taxpayers are paying for it.

Many people have complained about the disconnect between Washington D.C. and mainstream America. And you wonder why hashtags and sayings such as “drain the swamp” and why a billionaire businessman has got more support than you and the media combined. Shame on every one of you bottom dwellers from both sides of the aisle.

You can follow Alex Popovic on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

This entry was posted in Informative, Politics, Veterans issues and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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