Tags: Healthcare Reform | Health Topics

Senate Hypocrites Try for Obamacare Subsidies

Monday, 11 May 2015 08:15 AM Current | Bio | Archive

One of the most poignant scenes of my son’s childhood came when he was about 6. The community where we live has an annual yard sale in an elementary school parking lot and garage sale groupies come from around the county.

Neighbors too cheap to rent a stall at the official sale, take advantage of the pass–through traffic to hold their own sales in their front yard.

I was coming back from a bike ride and turned into our street where I was surprised to see my son behind a card table, surrounded by Hot Wheels and old toys, open for garage sale business. He was perched on the front of his chair so full of optimism about his venture and so unaware of how the world worked that it broke my heart to see him.

My only thought was how can I protect this precious soul from the disappointment and duplicity of the world around him? I still have photos of him surrounded by his inventory, waiting eagerly for his first customer.

Sen. David Vitter, R–La., is sitting behind that card table today, and he’s learned a harsh lesson. Vitter has been waging a lonely campaign to force Congress to live under the same maddening Obamacare rules that are imposed on us. You can see just how hypocritical our “conservative” soundbite soldiers are by reading three previous columns on Vitter’s struggle. Click here, here and here.

In a nutshell, all Democrats, and a disturbing number of Republican members of Congress, didn’t want to experience the Obamacare bill to find out what was in it, even though an amendment passed by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R–Iowa, required them to participate.

This made Vitter extremely unpopular in Harry Reid’s Senate, and I predicted he wouldn’t be much more popular in Mitch “Watch Me Brandish a Flintlock” McConnell’s Republican Senate this year.

Sometimes I hate it when my predictions are correct.

Sen. Vitter has introduced a “no exemptions” bill that would require members of Congress and their staff to give up the $5,000 to $10,000 subsidy, regardless of income, they receive to buy health insurance in violation of the Grassley amendment and participate in the exchanges like the rest of the country.

Even though he’s chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Vitter has been waiting since February for either an up or down vote on his bill or an opportunity to attach his bill as an amendment to another piece of legislation.

So he took another approach. Congress colluded with the Obama administration and submitted an application to the D.C. health exchange asking for a small business waiver. To be eligible for the waver, Congress, an employer of over 10,000 people, had to submit an application claiming Congress employed only 45 people.

National Review reports: “Names were faked; one employee was listed as ‘First Last,’ another simply as ‘Congress’ . . . it was clear that someone in Congress had falsified the document in order to make lawmakers and their staff eligible for taxpayer subsidies provided under the exchange for small-business employees.”

Since the application was approved it is hard to decide which institution is more corrupt, the congressional office that submitted the fraudulent application or the federal office that approved it.

If Vitter could follow the fraud and find out exactly who submitted the application he could walk it back and pin responsibility for this outrage on specific lawmakers. This outing would make some real news as opposed to the commonplace sexual outings that currently clutter up the news.

The next step was simple, Vitter’s committee votes for a subpoena of the original application and the investigation continues. His committee is composed of nine defend–Obamacare–to–the–death Democrats and 10 Republicans. It would take a unanimous and expected “yes” vote from GOP members to issue the subpoena. And Vitter didn’t get it.

Five of the GOP Pharisees on the committee voted to continue the cover–up after pressure from McConnell. Here’s the list of Republicans who don’t deserve your vote or your contributions in the future:

Mitch McConnell
Rand Paul
Mike Enzi
James Risch
Kelly Ayotte
Deb Fischer

The last four names changed their vote after previously assuring Vitter he had their support. These senators and the leadership display a Lois Lerner level of contempt for the conservative public.

Votes like this must have consequences if conservatives are ever going to have a real influence on Washington. My suggestion is to donate to their primary opponents, or write in a conservative on Election Day and make their next town hall meeting a time to remember.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports —
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In a nutshell, all Democrats, and a disturbing number of Republican members of Congress, didn’t want to experience the Obamacare bill to find out what was in it, even though an amendment passed by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R–Iowa, required them to participate.
Healthcare Reform, Health Topics
Monday, 11 May 2015 08:15 AM
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