The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander – NOT!

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


All you need to do to find out how “wonderful” the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare will be for all of us is to go to the White House Web site.  In almost reverent slogans the Obama Administration claims:

"A More Secure Future”

“Stronger Consumer Rights and Protections”

“More Affordable Coverage”

“Better Access to Care”

“Stronger Medicare”

If Obamacare is so great, then why are members of Congress trying to extract themselves and their staff from complying with the law?  According to an article in Politico, a Washington, D.C. newspaper:

Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. 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.”

This is simply more proof that Obamacare is a pending train wreck and the ruling class is doing whatever they can to make sure only the proletariat are subject to the healthcare law. It can be pretty confusing just who in the government is subject to Obamacare.  Back in 2010, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) attempted to put all federal employees under the Affordable Care Act with an amendment.   What the amendment would have done is “apply the new health care law to the President, Vice President, cabinet members, top White House staff, and the congressional staff who drafted the proposal.”  But the amendment was rejected so now only members of Congress and their personal staff are subject to the law. And that is exactly what congressional leadership is trying to change according to the news article.  Politico quotes from someone involved in the sensitive negotiations, “Everyone has to hold hands on this and jump, or nothing is going to get done.” Politico points out that one of the biggest concerns is a “brain drain.”  There is a question as to whether staff will have their health insurance premiums subsidized by the federal government.  If the Office of Personnel Management makes the decision that the federal government will not pick up 75 percent of the premium, as they are currently doing in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan, then staff will have to pay the cost.  Members of Congress and their staff will then pay thousands of dollars in new healthcare costs.  The result – many staff may decide to seek jobs elsewhere. Good luck with that.  The nation is still dealing with a high unemployment rate because many private employers are refusing to hire people because of, you guessed it, Obamacare. According to the article, Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office refused to discuss whether any talks were going on.  Speaker John Boehner’s office said, “if the Speaker has the opportunity to save anyone from Obamacare, he will.” Should Congress exempt itself from Obamacare, the 2014 elections are going to be very interesting.

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