Few fair-minded Americans would argue that the tenants of Capitol Hill should suffer the slings and arrows that complicate the lives of mere commoners. After all, seeing to the 24/7 needs of the underclasses is burden enough for anyone.
But thanks to an amendment to the Affordable Care Act, members of the political ruling class and their congressional staff will soon join the little people in suffering the financial distress promised in a 2,700 page law read and understood by very few within the beltway. And the DC elite do not like it one bit.
Before ObamaCare was rammed through the Senate via reconciliation, Senator Charles Grassley made certain that members of Congress and their staff would have to obtain health insurance by enrolling in ObamaCare exchanges just like everyone else. After all, “…if Congress was going to impose Obamacare upon the country, it should have to experience what it is imposing firsthand.” Grassley’s 2009 amendment originally called for ALL federal employees to obtain healthcare insurance via an exchange. But federal employee unions, so fervent in their support of ObamaCare legislation, wanted no part of actually participating in the finished product. Democrats naturally permitted their largest donors to quietly bow out.
But the law’s legislative champions could NOT publicly extricate themselves from Senator Grassley’s carefully laid trap. So here we are, nearly 4 years later; and for months, lawmakers have been working to gingerly rescind that portion of the ACA that would put their premiums on a par with those to be experienced by the common clay.
At least that was the plan until a couple of months ago, when a Harry Reid spokesman ostensibly put the issue to rest with:
There are not now, have never been, nor will there ever be any discussions about exempting members of Congress or Congressional staff from Affordable Care Act provisions that apply to any employees of any other public or private employer offering health care…
It seems Republicans had publicized the efforts of their repeal-minded friends from across the aisle, and news of the scheme was NOT received kindly by the American public.
Well, DC lawmakers are simply not used to having to play an honest game. As a result, “dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.”
Of course, the loss of inside-the-beltway talent is far more serious than the consequences of average people quitting average jobs. In its standard role of shill for the political elite, Politico reports:
If the issue isn’t resolved, and massive numbers of lawmakers and aides bolt, many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain just as Congress tackles a slew of weighty issues — like fights over the Tax Code and immigration reform.
A brain drain! Oh my. Lions and tigers and bears, as far as the eye can see.
Perhaps Democrats weren’t so smart after all with their demands that ObamaCare be passed in order to find out what was in it. But don’t be surprised to find that some one, some entity, some bureaucracy outside the immediate purview of Congress should ride the rescue of our mistreated lawmakers. After all, if they have to live like commoners, why run for the job?
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