Tags: Healthcare Reform | Polls

Time to End Ridiculous Obamacare Perks

Thursday, 23 July 2015 11:41 AM Current | Bio | Archive

One of the perpetual anomalies of political polling is the disconnect between voter’s opinion of Congress in general and the voter’s opinion of their specific representative.

Real Clear Politics’ average job approval for Congress is that 15.2 percent approve and a realistic 75.4 percent disapprove.

Gallup finds in comparison that 46 percent approve of the job their own representative is doing on their behalf in Congress.

Congress also does poorly in comparison to other occupations, finishing behind all categories except lobbyists. Used car salesmen poll 25 points higher than Congress in a Public Policy Polling survey.

Sure you get taken for a ride, but customers are only charged once and the salesman doesn’t pretend to be “fighting for you.” Even colonoscopies are preferred to Congress.

The main reason is Obamacare. It corrupts everything with which it comes into contact. Republicans are hypocrites that demand Obamacare be repealed because the law is unconstitutional and the administration implements it in a lawless manner. While at the same time these sound–bite patriots use a dubious Obamacare waiver to get subsidized coverage for themselves and their staff.

Democrats are equally hypocritical as they sing the praises of this medical free lunch while making sure the same dishonest workaround lets them escape the negative effects of the law the rest of the country must obey.

Here’s how the workaround works: Under Obamacare, elected officials and staff are required to buy their health insurance on the same exchanges as the rest of America.
Living under the law they passed wasn’t really Congress’ cup of tea, so Democrats in power at that time, persuaded the Obama administration to issue an executive order that magically canceled the law as it applied to Congress. This allowed the 12,000-employee institution to buy its insurance on the D.C. Small Business Exchange.

Elizabeth L. Wright of Citizens Against Government Waste — more about them later — told me that many members explain they run their office like a small business, so they don’t see any contradiction. Well the fact is, Congressman, you could run your office like Mordor and it still wouldn’t be a small business.

What’s more, you and your employees should not be taking $10,000 each, regardless of annual income, to subsidize your health insurance. A perk that’s enjoyed by no one else in the country.

Sen. David Vitter, R–La., has a “no exemptions” bill that would end the small business dodge and the subsidy. He knew there was no chance it would see the light of day as long as Harry Reid ran the Senate. But it seems that even under Mitch McConnell’s new management the bill is receiving perpetual care in the legislative mortuary.

Senate hypocrisy and the everybody–else–is–doing–it mentality is so ingrained that Vitter’s request to subpoena investigation–related documents was defeated in his
committee by a vote of 5 to 14. This conservative sellout was led by Republicans Rand Paul, Mike Enzi, James Risch, Kelly Ayotte, and Deb Fischer. It stopped the investigation dead.

Fortunately Sen.Vitter’s lonely effort attracted the attention of Citizens Against Government Waste and nine other organizations that have filed an ethics complaint to determine “whether senators and/or staff members may have committed fraud and broken several laws when they submitted applications to the D.C. Health Insurance Marketplace.”

Our rulers have a number of rationalizations as to why they deserve coverage and subsidies the law prohibits and we are denied. My favorite is the “staff revolt.”

Supposedly members were terrified they would have to fetch their own water and answer phone calls from constituents after their staff walked out en masse when they were forced into the Obamacare regime like the rest of us.

Yet Vitter has no problems keeping staffers in his office and none of his employees take the insurance subsidy.

Obviously Sen. Vitter can’t beat this outrage alone. He needs your pressure on your representatives. Attend their next town meeting and ask why an elected official making $174,000 a year deserves an additional $10,000 subsidy to pay for health insurance?

And don’t leave until you get an answer.

Vitter’s scathing report on the issue concludes: “United States lawmakers have created a healthcare system that favors a few at the cost of many.”

In other words, you couldn’t keep your doctor or your insurance, but Congress made sure it kept its perks.

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 — Go Here Now.

© Copyright 2015 Michael Shannon.



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Republicans are hypocrites that demand Obamacare be repealed because the law is unconstitutional. Democrats are equally hypocritical as they sing the praises of this medical free lunch while making sure the same dishonest workaround lets them escape the negative effects of the law.
Healthcare Reform, Polls
Thursday, 23 July 2015 11:41 AM
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