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A Turtle Named Mack 16 September 2013 02:52 PM

Congressís Exemption from Obamacare
 
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.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articl...care-john-fund

wanderwoman 16 September 2013 03:49 PM

Unlike the federal government, my employer is going to continue to insure me after the ACA kicks in. The Grassley provision ensures that Congress is getting treated differently than most Americans with large employers who provide health insurance to some extent.

Grassley and Vitter are prime examples of those in the House of Representatives who are just out to drag this country down so they can blame it on Obama. What a zoo!

GenYus234 16 September 2013 03:56 PM

Except Vitter claims (without proof or evidence) that most (all?) employers will quit providing insurance to their employees once the ACA fully kicks in. So, assuming that leap of illogic is true, would mean the rest of it is a valid supposition.

wanderwoman 16 September 2013 04:02 PM

On second thought, calling Congress a zoo is an insult to zoo animals. Sorry, zoo animals!

A Turtle Named Mack 16 September 2013 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1768713)
Except Vitter claims (without proof or evidence) that most (all?) employers will quit providing insurance to their employees once the ACA fully kicks in.

Do you have any cites for Vitter claiming that?
Quote:

Originally Posted by wanderwoman (Post 1768709)
Unlike the federal government, my employer is going to continue to insure me after the ACA kicks in. The Grassley provision ensures that Congress is getting treated differently than most Americans with large employers who provide health insurance to some extent.

Well, that is in some sense true, but there is some sense in having Congress and its staff subjected to the laws it passes. As I understand it, they also were not under the Civil Service rules (because they are not in the executive branch and serve at the pleasure of the Congressmen involved) but placing them under CS rules for employment conditions - other than hiring and firing - might have been a sensible middle ground, more reflective of the fact that they are working for a large employer which has long provided health insurance options for its full-time employees.

crescent 16 September 2013 04:20 PM

I am a little unclear on things here. I have been under the impression that Legislators and their staff have the same insurance plans and options as regular federal employees.

Was I wrong? Is the plan to move the Legislators and staff off of the Federal Health Benefit Plan and make them use Obamacare in the same way someone without employer provided care would need to use it?

Except that now the employer is providing subsidies? So, they were treated like civil service employees, and then they were not, and now they are still not, but in a different way.

Politics is ugly.

GenYus234 16 September 2013 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack (Post 1768722)
Do you have any cites for Vitter claiming that?

Not in so many words, but that's because of his weaselly definitions. He is saying that no American at the income level of Congress and their staff would get government subsidies for their health care. Except that the government subsidies are really employer subsidies. So, without the weaselly definition, he is suggesting that no American would get employer assistance with their health care.

snopes 16 September 2013 07:06 PM

Typical deliberately misleading headline.

Congress is not, nor are they trying to be, "exempt" from Obamacare. The issue is that a standard benefit the federal government affords its employees (just like many other employers do) is subsidizing their health insurance premiums. Congress simply wants those subsidies to continue for them when they are forced out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and into the insurance exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act.

It's amusing that when Congress initially wasn't eligible to purchase insurance through the exchanges created by the ACA, critics charged that Congress was "exempt" from Obamacare. Now that members of Congress are required to buy insurance through those exchanges, the same critics are still claiming Congress is "exempt" from Obamacare.

A Turtle Named Mack 16 September 2013 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1768736)
Not in so many words, but that's because of his weaselly definitions. He is saying that no American at the income level of Congress and their staff would get government subsidies for their health care. Except that the government subsidies are really employer subsidies. So, without the weaselly definition, he is suggesting that no American would get employer assistance with their health care.

Nothing weaselly there at all - any person with that level of income who did not get employer part-payment (not a 'subsidy, of course, but part of the compensation package) would be eligible for Obamacare subsidies. There are plenty of people who have incomes at those levels who do not get employer health-insurance payment in the paskage.

wanderwoman 16 September 2013 07:19 PM

Because it's political rather than factual. This will keep happening until the ACA is as entrenched as Medicare. Because successful health care reform would be poison to the opposition.

ETA: in reply to snopes' post.

GenYus234 16 September 2013 09:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack (Post 1768772)
Nothing weaselly there at all - any person with that level of income who did not get employer part-payment (not a 'subsidy, of course, but part of the compensation package) would be eligible for Obamacare subsidies. There are plenty of people who have incomes at those levels who do not get employer health-insurance payment in the paskage.

He said that people at the specified salary level* would not be eligible for government subsidies. So the salary level he is talking about would have to be above the ACA levels for government subsidies. The level depends on the number of dependents, but a family of 4 would have to make about $94K a year before there is no government cap (which is how the subsidy is applied) on health care costs. It would be a rare salaried job that paid
$94K without some sort of health care. (Or pair of $47K jobs where neither included some sort of health care.)

*Which he never actually specifies.

WildaBeast 16 September 2013 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1768713)
Except Vitter claims (without proof or evidence) that most (all?) employers will quit providing insurance to their employees once the ACA fully kicks in.

That sounds like one of my coworkers before the ACA passed, and the public option was still part of the proposal. He was convinced that if the ACA passed and included the public option, our employer would use that as an excuse to cut costs by stopping providing us with health insurance without a corresponding increase in our pay. He didn't have any evidence that they would do such a thing, but he "just knew" that they would.


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