Congress gets an exemption from ObamaCare

As Americans face rising health insurance premiums and confusion over ObamaCare, members of Congress and their aides won’t have to worry about a provision of the law that would have left them with higher healthcare costs:

The Office of Personnel Management, under heavy pressure from Capitol Hill, will issue a ruling that says the government can continue to make a contribution to the health care premiums of members of Congress and their aides, according to several Hill sources.

A White House official confirmed the deal and said the proposed regulations will be issued next week.
The problem was rooted in the original text of the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) inserted a provision which said members of Congress and their aides must be covered by plans “created” by the law or “offered through an exchange.” Until now, OPM had not said if the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program could contribute premium payments toward plans on the exchange. If payments stopped, lawmakers and aides would have faced thousands of dollars in additional premium payments each year. Under the old system, the government contributed nearly 75 percent of premium payments.

What this means is that members of Congress and congressional staffers will still have to go through ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges, but they will not be eligible for the subsidies provided under the law. There was a fear that Capitol Hill would suffer from “brain drain” if the significant government contributions were no longer allowed, forcing them to come out of pocket to make up the difference.

It was reported on Wednesday that President Barack Obama was personally involved in the behind the scenes negotiations for the rule, because, you know, Congress should never have to abide by the laws it enacts. Or something.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.