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Old 08-06-2013, 07:26 AM  
mlyonsd mlyonsd is offline
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Obama waives full cost of Obamacare policies for Congress and staffers

AUGUST 6, 2013 4:00 AM
Congress’s Obamacare Waiver
President Obama is buying votes from members of Congress — with stolen money.
By Michael F. Cannon

America has a two-party system. But it’s not Republicans versus Democrats. It’s the ruling class — Republicans and Democrats — against everyone else. Consider how President Obama just gave Congress its very own Obamacare waiver.

Obamacare includes a provision that should cost each member of Congress and each staffer $5,000 to $11,000 per year. Needless to say, the ruling class was not pleased.

Congress wasn’t about to try to exempt itself from this provision explicitly, though. If John Q. Congressman voted to give himself an Obamacare waiver that his constituents don’t get, he wouldn’t be John Q. Congressman much longer. What’s an aristocrat to do?

On July 30, I predicted that, even though he had no authority to do so, President Obama would waive that provision at taxpayers’ expense. On August 1, he ignobly obliged the aristocracy by decreeing we peasants give each member and staffer $5,000 or $11,000, depending on whether they want self-only or family coverage. It’s good to be king.
The president’s supporters, like courtesans of old, are trying to quell a peasant uprising by denying there were any special favors. The denials ring hollow.

Obamacare imposes two costs on members of Congress and their staff. First, it kicks them out of their current health plans, leaving them to buy coverage on Obamacare’s health-insurance “exchanges.” Second, it makes no provision for the federal government to keep paying $5,000 or $11,000 toward the cost of their insurance as the Treasury does today.* *

The second cost is by far the larger one; it amounts to a pay cut of $5,000 or $11,000. Many staffers were threatening to quit or retire early.

When the president’s supporters claim that Congress isn’t being exempted, they mean that Obama didn’t exempt them from Cost No. 1. Which is true. But he did exempt them from Cost No. 2.

Rescinding that pay cut may or may not have been the right thing to do. But it’s still a break that ordinary Americans like Kevin Pace don’t get. Pace is an adjunct music professor at Northern Virginia Community College. To avoid penalties under Obamacare, his employer cut his hours — sticking Pace with an $8,000 pay cut.

Supporters say President Obama merely held Congress harmless. Exactly. Kevin Pace and countless others like him aren’t being held harmless, because they’re not members of Congress. As Kevin Pace put it, “This isn’t right on any level.”

Things would be unseemly enough if Congress’s Obamacare waiver were legal. But experts say the president had no authority to grant it.

That didn’t stop even Republicans from praising him, however. Tin-eared Representative Chris Stewart (R., Utah) gushed: *“There’s no question it was the right thing to do. Not just for me, but for my staff. Heavens, I have staff who don’t make much money. This would be a really big bite for them.”

Congressman, you also have constituents who don’t make much money, and who can’t make it appear out of thin air. Enjoy your waiver.

How was I able to predict the president would grant illegal subsidies to members of Congress? He’s a repeat offender.

Obamacare actually kicked members of Congress out of their current health plans and imposed that $5,000 to $11,000 pay cut immediately upon enactment in 2010. But President Obama just ignored that part of the law. He let members and staff stay in their current health plans and kept the taxpayer money flowing in their direction.

I predicted President Obama would give illegal health-insurance subsidies to members of Congress because he is already in his fourth year of doing it.

Pretty much all Americans can point to some part of Obamacare that they hate. Seniors hate the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which even Howard Dean calls “a health-care rationing body.”

Unions, teacher assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers,*and other school employees hate how the law is cutting their pay. Private-sector unions despise the “Cadillac tax” that forces them to fund subsidies their members don’t receive. Young adults hate the penalties for not buying health insurance. Okay, everybody hates those. In fact, a majority of Americans oppose the entire law.

But only Congress gets relief. Why?

Simple. President Obama doesn’t want Congress to reopen Obamacare. A significant share of congressional Democrats just voted to delay the individual mandate. With once-loyal Democrats now upset over how the law hurts them personally, who knows what else Congress would discard?

President Obama circumvented a potential legislative defeat by giving each member and staffer thousands of taxpayer dollars he had no authority to touch. He’s buying votes from members of Congress — with stolen money, no less.

— Michael F. Cannon is director of health-policy studies at the Cato Institute and coeditor of Replacing Obamacare.

*



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Old 08-08-2013, 08:16 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by jettio View Post
Do you want to explain that?
This story is about the Obama administration deciding to pay for a substantial portion of the cost of the exchange policies that Congressional staffers purchase. Meanwhile, private citizens making the same amount as these staffers will be on the hook for the full price.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:25 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
This story is about the Obama administration deciding to pay for a substantial portion of the cost of the exchange policies that Congressional staffers purchase. Meanwhile, private citizens making the same amount as these staffers will be on the hook for the full price.
Did these employees already have health insurance?

Private citizens that already have employer provided health insurance do not have to buy insurance from an exchange?

If a private employer tries to change their employee benefits that is their decision and they risk losing the employees.

Maybe you just want to root against Obamacare so much that you really don't give a sh*t about these employees and their health care or compensation.

There is nothing unfair about fixing this novel problem, doing nothing to fix the problem would be unfair.

If private employers try to screw over their workers and blame Obamacare, that is on them.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:36 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by jettio View Post
Did these employees already have health insurance?

Private citizens that already have employer provided health insurance do not have to buy insurance from an exchange?

If a private employer tries to change their employee benefits that is their decision and they risk losing the employees.
Maybe you just want to root against Obamacare so much that you really don't give a sh*t about these employees and their health care or compensation.

There is nothing unfair about fixing this novel problem, doing nothing to fix the problem would be unfair.

If private employers try to screw over their workers and blame Obamacare, that is on them.
Isn't that the same argument the Congressman made? That he would lose his Staffers?
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:59 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jettio View Post
Did these employees already have health insurance?

Private citizens that already have employer provided health insurance do not have to buy insurance from an exchange?

If a private employer tries to change their employee benefits that is their decision and they risk losing the employees.

Maybe you just want to root against Obamacare so much that you really don't give a sh*t about these employees and their health care or compensation.

There is nothing unfair about fixing this novel problem, doing nothing to fix the problem would be unfair.

If private employers try to screw over their workers and blame Obamacare, that is on them.
Congress amended Obamacare to put Congress and it's staffers in the same position as individuals who have to use the exchanges. If Congress wanted these people to continue to avoid the harsh realities of Obamacare, they could have let them continue to receive the same healthcare coverage they had previously been enjoying. The Obama administration is thwarting the clear goal of that amendment.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:02 AM   #65
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Isn't that the same argument the Congressman made? That he would lose his Staffers?
That is the problem. the only employees in the country who are required to get kicked off of their current employer provided insurance and get it from the exchange are these federal employees, Congress and their staffers.

If there is any special treatment, it is only to fix the problem caused by the fact that these employees, Congress and their staffers, were specially targetted in the first place by themselves and their bosses.

It is kinda stupid to create the problem, but I don't see any good reason not to fix the problem.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:13 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Congress amended Obamacare to put Congress and it's staffers in the same position as individuals who have to use the exchanges. If Congress wanted these people to continue to avoid the harsh realities of Obamacare, they could have let them continue to receive the same healthcare coverage they had previously been enjoying. The Obama administration is thwarting the clear goal of that amendment.
Let see which one of your GOP heroes adopts your line of reasoning and opposes this fix.

Why don't you ask them what the goal of the amendment was?
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:18 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by jettio View Post
Let see which one of your GOP heroes adopts your line of reasoning and opposes this fix.

Why don't you ask them what the goal of the amendment was?
Because we already know what the goal of the amendment was.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:02 AM   #68
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:14 PM   #69
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Because we already know what the goal of the amendment was.
And we know why they don't try to 'fix' it the legal way, by passing an amendment. I'm talking about both sides of the aisle there.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:47 PM   #70
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Not that I heard. Republicans are just as guilty here and this is proof of the real distance between us and THEM.
Thats some serious hypocrisy on both sides of the aisles. Be nice to make sure laws don't apply to you.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:26 PM   #71
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It's stupid for us to be giving Congress and their staff gold plated insurance when Joe Public has to live with what they can get from the exchange. Let them live with the system they create for the rest of the country. If private companies want to offer gold plated insurance plans, that's fine. They're not the guys designing the system for the rest of the country.
I agree. Let them eat their own dog food.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:02 PM   #72
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:18 PM   #73
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:11 AM   #74
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This shouldn't surprise anyone.
Exactly. It's a Politburo.

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