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r3020
Senior Advisor

Congress, less than 50 employees?

Just when you think Lindsey Graham is the worst senator in history he goes and does something like this.

 

snip-

Graham knows Vitter’s amendment may be the best leverage the Republicans have in any budget-deal negotiations. Democrats have personally and passionately appealed to Graham not to throw up a poison pill such as the Vitter amendment. But Graham says the Senate Democrats and President Obama “have moved the goal posts on a reasonable deal.”

 

Throwing the Vitter proposal into the mix is hugely unpopular with Capitol Hill veterans of both parties. Harry Reid, the majority leader, has slammed Vitter as “an anarchist” and “mean-spirited.”

Vitter responds that the original 2010 Obamacare law barred members of Congress and their personal staffs from continuing to get employer subsidies — worth $5,000 for individual policies and $11,000 or more for family coverage — because they would be buying coverage from the health-care exchanges, where employer subsidies are banned.

When congressional leaders realized what they had done, they chose not to fix it through legislation, because that would have been highly visible fodder for negative campaign ads. Instead, they asked President Obama to direct the Office of Personnel Management to rule that members of Congress and their staffs could continue to get government subsidies even as they bought coverage in the exchanges. Obama did just that in the middle of the August congressional recess, when few were paying attention. Note that in this case the “employer” is the government, so if subsidies are allowed, they would be paid by taxpayers

In another legally dubious move, OPM declared Congress to be the equivalent of a business with fewer than 50 employees, in order to evade parts of Obamacare. That’s another special treatment — no other bigger business gets to claim it is merely lots of little businesses.

 

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/361118/graham-joins-vitter-fight-over-hills-carve-out-john-fun...#!

5 Replies
Samnospam
Advisor

Re: Congress, less than 50 employees?

If nothing else the money paid toward staffers insurance by the taxpayer and purchased on the exchange, illegal for you and I yes,  should be taxable as income.  

schnurrbart
Veteran Advisor

Re: Congress, less than 50 employees?

And now… the rest of the story.

Remember how Speaker Boehner was screaming on the House floor about the unfair congressional exemption from Obamacare? It turns out that Boehner worked extensively with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and other Democratic leaders to re-establish the government premium subsidy for Hill workers and members. In fact, according to Politico, Boehner and Reid collaborated to schedule a secret meeting at the White House to convince the president to re-establish the premium coverage. In the meantime, draft legislation was circulated to entirely repeal the marketplace requirement for Congress, but it was never shuffled beyond the planning stage.

Eventually, pressure from congressional Democrats convinced OPM to allow the rule — the so-called “exemption” — to be authorized.

The duplicity and dishonesty by the purveyors of this lie is astonishing, especially coming from the leader of the congressional Republicans. There is no congressional Obamacare “exemption.” There never was. In fact, Congress has to buy insurance via Obamacare. By law. And the rule that Boehner tried to contort into an “exemption” was a rule that he himself lobbied for, in cooperation with his nemesis in the Senate.
r3020
Senior Advisor

Re: Congress, less than 50 employees?


@schnurrbart wrote:
And now… the rest of the story.

Remember how Speaker Boehner was screaming on the House floor about the unfair congressional exemption from Obamacare? It turns out that Boehner worked extensively with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and other Democratic leaders to re-establish the government premium subsidy for Hill workers and members. In fact, according to Politico, Boehner and Reid collaborated to schedule a secret meeting at the White House to convince the president to re-establish the premium coverage. In the meantime, draft legislation was circulated to entirely repeal the marketplace requirement for Congress, but it was never shuffled beyond the planning stage.

Eventually, pressure from congressional Democrats convinced OPM to allow the rule — the so-called “exemption” — to be authorized.

The duplicity and dishonesty by the purveyors of this lie is astonishing, especially coming from the leader of the congressional Republicans. There is no congressional Obamacare “exemption.” There never was. In fact, Congress has to buy insurance via Obamacare. By law. And the rule that Boehner tried to contort into an “exemption” was a rule that he himself lobbied for, in cooperation with his nemesis in the Senate.

So now you admit congress and their staff did indeed get an exemption the peasants can only dream about.

schnurrbart
Veteran Advisor

Re: Congress, less than 50 employees?

I said in response to you and others who stated quite emphatically that congress members and staff were exempt from the ACA, that it wasn't true. THEN you changed from saying that to well they get to keep their employer paid portion that no one else gets. I agreed with that because it is true. However, it is NOT true that the president personally ordered OPM to make up that rule.
r3020
Senior Advisor

Re: Congress, less than 50 employees?


@schnurrbart wrote:
I said in response to you and others who stated quite emphatically that congress members and staff were exempt from the ACA, that it wasn't true. THEN you changed from saying that to well they get to keep their employer paid portion that no one else gets. I agreed with that because it is true. However, it is NOT true that the president personally ordered OPM to make up that rule.

"In fact, according to Politico, Boehner and Reid collaborated to schedule a secret meeting at the White House to convince the president to re-establish the premium coverage."