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Obamacare hypocrisy knows no bounds


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If Obamacare is such a great idea, why shouldn't it apply to our lawmakers and their staff?

 

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/obamacare-exemption-lawmakers-aides-90610.html

 

The talks — which involve Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Obama administration and other top lawmakers — are extraordinarily sensitive, with both sides acutely aware of the potential for political fallout from giving carve-outs from the hugely controversial law to 535 lawmakers and thousands of their aides. Discussions have stretched out for months, sources said.

A source close to the talks says: “Everyone has to hold hands on this and jump, or nothing is going to get done.”

 

Why does anything need to be done? Obamacare is awesome!

 

Yet if Capitol Hill leaders move forward with the plan, they risk being dubbed hypocrites by their political rivals and the American public. By removing themselves from a key Obamacare component, lawmakers and aides would be held to a different standard than the people who put them in office.

 

Hypocrites? Why would anyone think that? We all know that those in government are better than the rest of us. Right?

There is concern in some quarters that the provision requiring lawmakers and staffers to join the exchanges, if it isn’t revised, could lead to a “brain drain” on Capitol Hill, as several sources close to the talks put it.

Well for this to be true one has to assume that those in government have brains, which is a stretch. Now why would anyone want to flee the amazing benefits of Obamacare?

 

It's fun to watch the White House try to delay Obamacare mandates due to come into effect next year in the hope of winning the House in 2014. The above won't play into that too well.

 

 

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I think Obama care is indeed a terrible idea. Nevertheless, your argument is very weak. Are you just being blatant?

 

We all know that those in government are better than the rest of us. Right?


This is hideous sarcasm. Be serious about this issue if you actually believe it.

Edited by Ben Banana
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Do you have an independent source that can explain what's going on? The implication is that these government workers don't have healthcare already. Otherwise why is there any additional expense?

———
edit


The underlying story is that somebody in the government wants to cut the healthcare for these people
http://reason.com/blog/2013/04/25/congress-looks-for-a-way-to-exempt-itsel

IOW, as I read it, these people have healthcare, and part of it is paid for by their employer, the government, i.e. that's part of their compensation. The new law forces the to go through the exchanges, and OPM might decide that this means the employer will no longer pay their share of the premiums. THAT is where these people are getting screwed. Not, inherently, Obamacare. The government all of the sudden may effectively cut the pay of these people, but then, they've been screwing government employees for several years now (no COLAs for 3 years, and now furloughs)

 

Put another way, these are not currently uninsured people being made to go through the exchange, and looking for an exemption. These are people whose insurance is being taken away from them, possibly by bureaucratic error in writing the rules, who then would have to go through the exchange.

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Do you have an independent source that can explain what's going on? The implication is that these government workers don't have healthcare already. Otherwise why is there any additional expense?

 

———

edit

 

The underlying story is that somebody in the government wants to cut the healthcare for these people

http://reason.com/blog/2013/04/25/congress-looks-for-a-way-to-exempt-itsel

 

IOW, as I read it, these people have healthcare, and part of it is paid for by their employer, the government, i.e. that's part of their compensation. The new law forces the to go through the exchanges, and OPM might decide that this means the employer will no longer pay their share of the premiums. THAT is where these people are getting screwed. Not, inherently, Obamacare. The government all of the sudden may effectively cut the pay of these people, but then, they've been screwing government employees for several years now (no COLAs for 3 years, and now furloughs)

 

Put another way, these are not currently uninsured people being made to go through the exchange, and looking for an exemption. These are people whose insurance is being taken away from them, possibly by bureaucratic error in writing the rules, who then would have to go through the exchange.

So why not exempt all people who for whom Obamacare will have a negative financial outcome? Why only government employees? Right now employers across the country are putting people on part time to avoid paying for medical insurance, cutting their medical coverage of others because the tax penalty is cheaper than insurance, or both.

 

My opinion is that if Obamacare is going to hurt anyone, it should hurt government employees the most.

 

Also why not just extend the subsidy mentioned in your link? My guess. Eliminating the subsidy was part of the Obamacare "savings."

 

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My opinion is that if Obamacare is going to hurt anyone, it should hurt government employees the most.

Why?

Most of them had no more than you did, to do with the decision to introduce it.

What did they do to deserve your punishment?

Edited by John Cuthber
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So why not exempt all people who for whom Obamacare will have a negative financial outcome?

This isn't simply a negative financial outcome of having to have insurance. These people currently have insurance and pay premiums on that insurance.

 

Why only government employees?

Because government employees are the only ones having their pay cut by a (possibly unforeseen) glitch, and glitches need to be fixed.

 

Right now employers across the country are putting people on part time to avoid paying for medical insurance, cutting their medical coverage of others because the tax penalty is cheaper than insurance, or both.

And some have found that their business is suffering, because their customers have found out that they are being dicks to their employees, and are boycotting those businesses. It happened to Applebee's, it happened to Darden, it's starting to happen to Regal theaters.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/04/24/dear-regal-theaters-its-the-customers-stupid/

 

My opinion is that if Obamacare is going to hurt anyone, it should hurt government employees the most.

 

And why is that? Virtually all government employees are non-partisan in how they do their job. GPS doesn't work better when one party controls a particular branch of government as opposed to the other, so why should I (or they) take a pay cut as a result of this?

 

Also why not just extend the subsidy mentioned in your link? My guess. Eliminating the subsidy was part of the Obamacare "savings."

 

No, AFAICT eliminating the subsidy was not part of the savings; this was an oversight. If you claim otherwise, I want some sort of cite.

 

It breaks down like this, from my understanding:

 

The government pays something like 75% of your basic insurance premiums, as part of your compensation (if you want more, you have to buy it yourself. The only break you get is that it's group insurance). Let's say that the insurance is $10k per year. The employee pays $2500 and the government pays $7500. But you can opt out of government insurance (if e.g. your spouse has better insurance) in which case the government pays no subsidy at all. You save your premium (to be applied to your spouse's insurance, in the example) but that $7500 is gone — you don't get any of that.

 

Some employees, as a part of the new law, will have to go through the exchange to get insurance. The Office of Personnel Management has to decide if the rules are such that these people lose that subsidy, even though they did not, by their own choosing, opt out of the insurance. IOW, they would be effectively taking a $7500 pay cut because of the oversight in making sure the OPM would allow this and pay the benefit the workers thought they were getting when they took the job. That's the major concern about the brain drain — that if you cut peoples' salaries (already below the private sector, in many cases) they will up and quit. For normal businesses, the employer would still be providing insurance, and this would be moot. There would be no change at all when the law kicked in.

 

So the choice becomes whether you can more easily exempt these people or rewrite the OPM rules. I don't know why these specific people are affected; I haven't been notified of any loss of my insurance.

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The premise in the OP is quite false. Congress isn't giving itself special treatment on Obamacare. It's giving itself special punishment.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/25/congress-isnt-giving-itself-special-treatment-on-obamacare-its-giving-itself-special-punishment

The confusion here is the word “exemption.” That makes it sound like Congress is trying to get itself out of Obamacare. But in the absolute strongest form of a fix that’s being contemplated — the one in which Congress completely repeals the troublesome Grassley amendment — Obamacare would apply to members of Congress and their staffs in the exact same way it applies to employees of The Washington Post, or Politico, or GE, or any other large employer. They wouldn’t be any more exempt from the law than I am.

 

The key thing to understand is that, right now, Obamacare treats members of Congress and their staffs differently than it treats any other employer. They are a small exception to the entire rest of the law.

 

This isn’t about the Affordable Care Act as the rest of the country understands it. It’s about the Grassley amendment, which tried to make a political point by stating that members of Congress and their staffs would have to buy insurance from the exchanges rather than getting it, as they had been, from their employer — in this case, the federal government.

Grassley expected his amendment would be rejected, and the Democrats would be embarrassed. Instead, it was accepted. But the amendment didn’t carve out any way to make its exception workable. Having broken the rules for Congress, it didn’t create new rules for how the program should work for them.

 

That put congressional staffers in a unique and unhappy position: Their employer wants to offer them health insurance or at least pay the bulk of their premiums as it is doing now, and as other large employers do. But it potentially can’t do that because Congress accidentally threw it into a weird legal limbo in order to prove a point.

Or, you know... Let yourself be taken in by the hysteria manufacturers out there. That's an option, too.
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Why?

Most of them had no more than you did, to do with the decision to introduce it.

What did they do to deserve your punishment?

Really? Congress members and their staff had no more to do with this than I did? I think you are wrong on that point. Why do they deserve punishment? Government forces us to participate in this program. They should force themselves as well.

 

The premise in the OP is quite false. Congress isn't giving itself special treatment on Obamacare. It's giving itself special punishment.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/25/congress-isnt-giving-itself-special-treatment-on-obamacare-its-giving-itself-special-punishmentOr, you know... Let yourself be taken in by the hysteria manufacturers out there. That's an option, too.

I haven't seen your posts in a while. Good to hear from you.

 

The Grassley amendment is intended to make sure those in Government feel the full force of Obamacare. Those exchanges were supposed to be the cats meow. If they are not so great, those in government should feel it first. I hope they do.

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The Grassley amendment is intended to make sure those in Government feel
the full force of Obamacare. Those exchanges were supposed to be the
cats meow. If they are not so great, those in government should feel it
first.

What Congressmen enjoy now is single payer coverage.

 

If you want what Congress has, that's what you want.

 

Obama is on record as preferring that for the rest of the country, but thinking it politically impossible due to dingbat opposition - he then adopted Romneycare (a better name for it, as Mitt Romney was the originator of this camel) as better than nothing.

 

Obviously, as everyone knows who has looked into the matter, Romney's little gift to his insurance industry backers is an inferior plan, with many problems. But the long term and increasingly serious trend toward cutting way back on employer provided medical benefits by any means necessary is not one of them. That pattern has been with us since Reagan.

 

We had yet another example in my area, as the Crystal Sugar corporation finally beat their union after a 20 month strike - the main issue was medical benefits, which the corporation has taken out of the union's hands now, gaining control of its terms and provider and so forth. Obamacare had little to do with it, except maybe to put a floor under how much the corporation can cut benefits.

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Really? Congress members and their staff had no more to do with this than I did? I think you are wrong on that point. Why do they deserve punishment? Government forces us to participate in this program. They should force themselves as well.

But you said "My opinion is that if Obamacare is going to hurt anyone, it should hurt government employees the most."

Do you think everyone employed by the government works in congress?

Even the army?

My what a strange view you have.

Seriously, what have soldiers done to deserve this?

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Really? Congress members and their staff had no more to do with this than I did? I think you are wrong on that point. Why do they deserve punishment? Government forces us to participate in this program. They should force themselves as well.

 

Government workers >> congressional staffers

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