Sen. Ron Johnson Files Suit Over Obamacare Subsidy for Congress

Image: Sen. Ron Johnson Files Suit Over Obamacare Subsidy for Congress

Monday, 06 Jan 2014 02:46 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has followed through with his threats to sue the Obama administration over the federal funds lawmakers and their staff get to subsidize their healthcare coverage.

Johnson filed his suit against U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta and her department, in federal court on Monday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Joining Johnson in his legal effort will be Paul Clement, an ex-solicitor general who argued about Obamacare's constitutionality before the Supreme Court, and Rick Esenberg of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, reports The Hill

Editor’s Note: New 'Obamacare Survival Guide' Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare

In October, Johnson told Newsmax of his plan to sue, warning that the real concern, above and beyond the dysfunctional website, is the damage Obamacare will do to the country's healthcare system and personal freedoms.

The Affordable Care Act includes a provision that requires lawmakers and their aides to purchase insurance plans that are created by the law or through the Obamacare exchanges, and the Office of Personnel Management said last year the government will keep helping Congress and staff members offset the plans costs, just like for other federal employees.

Johnson and other Republicans though, say the assistance gives the lawmakers and their aides special treatment. Last week, Johnson said he believes the rule breaks the law, and his lawsuit will help rein in President Barack Obama's executive overreach.

The subsidies are far different from the ones everyday Americans can qualify for, reports the Oshkosh Northwestern, Johnson's hometown newspaper.

According to the ACA provisions, Americans who make less than $45,000 annually qualify for federal subsidies, but members of Congress are paid $175,000 per year, far above the act's subsidy cutoff.

"The American people have an expectation — Wisconsinites have an expectation — that members of Congress should be subjected to the letter of the law just like they’re held to the letter of the law," Johnson said Sunday. "In this case, members of Congress now are not being held to the letter of the law, and that creates an alienation. It creates a wedge between a member of Congress and their constituents."

Johnson, a businessman, was elected in 2010, defeating three-term Democrat Russ Feingold. He is a member of the Budget, Foreign Relations, Commerce, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees.

Even aside from the lawsuit, Johnson believes that Obamacare will cause great damages to the United States.

"The real harm of Obamacare once it becomes fully implemented is the damage it'll cause to our healthcare system, to our federal budget, to our personal freedoms," he told Newsmax in October, when discussing the potential for a lawsuit. "So they may fix the website, but there's no way they can fix the harm if Obamacare actually takes permanent root."

Johnson has also, in recent months, called Obamacare "a political fraud," and said President Barack Obama's repeated promise, echoed by other Democrats, that Americans can keep their healthcare plans was "fully vetted, coldly calculated and carefully crafted" to sell Obamacare.

"Those assurances weren't slight exaggerations or innocent shadings of the truth," Johnson said. "It was a political fraud echoed relentlessly by House and Senate Democrats who should be held accountable for the disastrous consequences of their grand deception."

Editor’s Note: New 'Obamacare Survival Guide' Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare

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