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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Congress’s Exemption from Obamacare

    September 16, 2013 4:00 AM

    Congress’s Exemption from Obamacare

    Make Congress get insurance the same way the little people do? Hill denizens howl in fury. By John Fund

    John Fund

    Prostitution. Bribery. Blackmail. Thuggery. Hypocrisy.
    Those were just some of the incendiary words thrown around the U.S. Senate last week, and that doesn’t count what people said in private.
    The Senate may still have a reputation as a genteel club, but lawmakers seemed to abandon rules of decorum completely last week in arguments about whether Congress should be treated like the rest of the country when it comes to Obamacare.
    Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has demanded a floor vote on his bill to end an exemption that members of Congress and their staffs are slated to get that will make them the only participants in the new Obamacare exchanges to receive generous subsidies from their employer to pay for their health insurance. Angry Senate Democrats have drafted legislation that dredges up a 2007 prostitution scandal involving Vitter. The confrontation is a perfect illustration of just how wide the gulf in attitudes is between the Beltway and the rest of the country — and how viciously Capitol Hill denizens will fight for their privileges.
    In 1995, the newly elected Republican Congress passed a Congressional Accountability Act to fulfill a promise made the previous year in the Contract with America. For the first time, the Act applied to Congress the same civil-rights employment and labor laws that lawmakers had required everyday citizens to abide by. With some lapses, it’s worked well to defuse public outrage about “one law for thee, one law for me” congressional behavior.
    In 2009, Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) decided that the principle deserved to be embedded in Obamacare, and he was able to insert a provision requiring all members of Congress and their staffs to get insurance through the Obamacare health exchanges. “The more that Congress experiences the laws it passes, the better,” said Grassley. Although his amendment was watered down before final passage to exclude committee staff, it still applies to members of Congress and their personal staffs. Most employment lawyers interpreted that to mean that the taxpayer-funded federal health-insurance subsidies dispensed to those on Congress’s payroll — which now range from $5,000 to $11,000 a year — would have to end.

    Democratic and Republican staffers alike were furious, warning that Congress faced a “brain drain” if the provision stuck. Under behind-the-scenes pressure from members of Congress in both parties, President Obama used the quiet of the August recess to personally order the Office of Personnel Management, which supervises federal employment issues, to interpret the law so as to retain the generous congressional benefits.OPM had previously balked at issuing such a ruling. Even without OPM, Congress could have voted to restore the subsidies or ordered a salary raise to compensate for the loss of benefits, but that would have been a messy, public process, which everyone wanted to avoid.
    Senator Vitter says the OPM ruling has removed “the sting of Obamacare” from Congress. “Many Americans will see their health coverage dropped by employers, and they will be forced into the exchanges,” he told me last week. “If Congress is forced into them on the same terms, it will be more likely to fix Obamacare’s problems for others.” The bill he and his co-author, Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming, have drafted would make everyone working on Capitol Hill buy insurance through the exchanges — with no subsidies. White House officials and political appointees in the executive branch would also be required to obtain health insurance through the exchanges.
    The Congressional Leadership Empire decided to strike back at Vitter. Politico reported that several Democratic senators have asked staff to draft legislation that would deny federal health subsidies to anyone who votes for the Vitter plan, even if Vitter’s plan doesn’t become law. An even more spiteful draft bill would bar subsidies to any lawmaker or aide found by a congressional ethics committee to have “engaged in the solicitation of prostitution.” In 2007, Vitter’s phone number was found in the records of the “D.C. Madam,” the owner of a high-end prostitution ring. Back then, Vitter held a news conference with his wife standing next to him and apologized for a “serious sin” that he refused to discuss further. He was reelected with 57 percent of the vote in 2010.
    Vitter isn’t taking the attempts to strong-arm him quietly. “Harry Reid is acting like an old-time Vegas mafia thug, and a desperate one at that,” he said in a statement to Politico. He also wrote a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee demanding an investigation of Reid and Democratic senator Barbara Boxer of California. “Threatening to take away their colleagues’ health care coverage subsidy if they do not vote a certain way, at worst constitutes bribery and a quid pro quo arrangement, and at best amounts to improper conduct,” he wrote. Senator Reid’s office responded by calling Vitter’s charges “absurd and baseless.”
    What Vitter’s opponents fear most is that this fight will penetrate the public’s consciousness. A new poll taken for Independent Women’s Voice, a conservative group, found that 92 percent of voters think Congress shouldn’t be exempted from the insurance provisions of Obamacare. Most voters blame both parties equally for the exemption, which means Republicans will also be hurt politically if it stands. “This is an issue with almost unprecedented intensity,” IWV president Heather Higgins told me. “Republicans have the choice of leading the Vitter parade for repeal or getting run over by it. To duck it will be viewed by their constituents as political malpractice.”
    — John Fund is national-affairs columnist for NRO.

    Awake yet????
    Last edited by kathyet2; 09-18-2013 at 10:19 AM.
    HAPPY2BME likes this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    King Obama Strikes Again Posted by Ken Hoagland on Sep 17, 2013

    Once again Barack Obama has signaled through his actions that he believes himself some kind of king—in a nation that threw out kings. Go figure—but he’s getting away with it again.

    Do As I Say Not As I Do

    He has declared that Congress will be exempted from the legal requirements of ObamaCare that are as plain and unambiguous as the pain that every citizen will suffer.

    One law for the peasants and a different interpretation for the political class: this what monarchs did for favored courtiers but it has no place in America.

    By amendment to the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act (yeah, right) Congress voted itself into ObamaCare because the optics of doing otherwise would have lost votes needed for passage.

    The reasoning, stated on the floor of the Senate by Chuck Grassley of Iowa, was that if the law was good enough for the people, it was good enough for Congress. No one had the brazenness to argue against this line of thought.

    But like millions of other citizens, Congress has discovered that ObamaCare will cost both the politicians and their staff a lot of money. So here comes Obama, always ready with a Chicago-style bribe to grease the works, with a wholly illegal exemption for the politicians who forced the law on us.

    The Office of Personnel Management has written a rule (yes, it was just that easy for this Administration) that simply ignores the law. Both Senators and Representatives will get subsidized to enroll in healthcare exchanges although, under the law, their salaries ($174,000 a year) make them ineligible for subsidies.

    Their staff will also take an average of more than $10,000 taxpayer provided subsidies for participating. These will be, unlike every other company or citizen, considered tax free contributions beyond the reach of the IRS. An additional “sweetener” lets each Congressional office pick which staff can be entirely exempted from ObamaCare. We should have it so good.

    Already exempted from the law are the President, the Vice-President, the cabinet, Congressional leadership (like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid) and insultingly—the committee staff members who wrote the law.

    This shameful double-standard should be embarrassing to the White House and Congress but they have no shame. Instead, they have doubled-down on such corruption with this latest rule.

    That’s why Senator David Vitter has legislation introduced that would not only undo the bribe but require all those politicians, previously exempted, to come under this nasty, destructive law themselves.

    Instead of insulating lawmakers from the laws they force on us, Vitter’s legislation would make sure that they feel the same pain we do. Harry Reid has attacked Vitter for his presumption and both Republicans and Democrats are scrambling behind the scenes to protect their own hides from ObamaCare costs.

    It is hard not to conclude that we, the people, are in their eyes merely the sheep who can be ever more closely sheared as the hogs feast on privilege and perks. This is the rise of the ruling class in a nation designed by our Founding Fathers to be without royalty or class.

    We have already delivered 1.6 million petitions to repeal ObamaCare because it is a disaster working to undo both the healthcare system and our economy. Now our voices must also take on the self-interest of Republican legislators.

    ObamaCare is as big as the income tax and as full of unintended consequences that we will suffer from now on unless we win repeal, defunding or even a one year delay. The House has the lever to make these things happen with “must pass” legislation like the debt ceiling authorization that is coming up. This presidential bribe is designed to buy them off and remove them from a personal motivation to avoid ObamaCare.

    If they want out they can repeal ObamaCare. But first we must hold their feet to the fire of the law they rammed down our throats and accept the truth that in America they are not royalty above the law.

    Ken Hoagland is the founder of a citizen advocacy group called “Restore America’s Voice”. They use citizen pressure to insist on “consent of the governed” on public policies that are too frequently in the interest of politicians but against the common interests of the people. They can be found at and on Facebook as Repeal-It-Now.


    Obamacare is coming, and so are the con artists

    As the debate rages over who benefits from the Affordable Care Act, one thing is becoming clear: The controversial program is a dream come true for rip-off artists.

    Consumer experts warn that the program has created a huge opportunity for swindling people by stealing their money and their sensitive personal information.

    "Any time you roll out a big government program like this, confusion is inevitable," said Lois Greisman, an associate director in the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. "This confusion creates a tremendous opportunity for the fraudster."

    Scammers have been at it for more than a year now, but consumer advocates and security experts warn that the problem will worsen as we get closer to Oct. 1. That's when the millions of uninsured Americans can use a health insurance exchange, set-up by their state or by the federal government, to shop for coverage.

    - See more at:

    Washington fixes Obamacare … for itself

    After intense and, sadly, bipartisan lobbying and scheming in Washington, the Obama Administration announced that it is creating out of thin air a special rule to ease the pain of Obamacare … for Washington only.

    You see, a specific provision of the Obamacare law says that all Members of Congress and all of their staffs have to procure their health care coverage on the Obamacare exchange, just like tens of millions of Americans. This was causing mounting fear and loathing in Washington because it threatened real disruption and significantly higher expenses. No problem, the new Administration rule fixes that and ensures that a huge, special taxpayer-funded subsidy will follow the ruling class to the exchange to take any sting out.

    The Obamacare statute states very clearly that all Members of Congress and their staffs are to procure their health insurance through the Obamacare exchange. Just as clearly, it does not reconstitute government support of their present coverage under the separate Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP) as payment toward the exchange.

    Furthermore, no ordinary American at that income level buying on the exchange would receive any government subsidy, much less one worth approximately $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for a family, as under the rule for Congress only. This bailout simply has been pulled out of thin air under intense and, sadly, bipartisan political pressure.

    - See more at:
    Last edited by kathyet2; 09-18-2013 at 11:45 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Obama Asked About Obamacare’s Tanking Approval Numbers: “Yes,” “Everybody Is Wrong”…

    How one man can be so smug and pompous is beyond me.

    Via The Hill:

    President Obama said Tuesday that Americans were wrong to doubt his signature healthcare reform law, saying concerns over rising costs or worsening health outcomes were not supported by the evidence.
    In an interview with Telemundo on Tuesday, the president was asked if “everybody [was] wrong” after polling data indicated that a majority of Americans oppose the law and believe it will raise their healthcare costs.
    “Yes,” the president said with a chuckle. “They are.”
    The president said a “look at the facts” revealed that young adults were able to stay on their parents’ health insurance longer and that seniors were getting “billions of dollars in discounts on their prescription drugs.”
    Asked about reports that insurance rates were rising in some areas, Obama argued the law was a net positive.

    Now tell me is this "denial" or what!!!!

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