I appreciate the sentiment, but technically Congress and their staff aren’t exempt from Obamacare. If they are currently enrolled in the workplace insurance, they are expected to get on the exchanges.
Yes, they are expected to get on the exchanges. That’s not in question, at least from what I’ve read on the issue. The controversy — the “exemption,” as it’s called — is the 75% premium subsidy that the Office of Personal Management (OPM) recently gave to members of Congress and staffers on the Hill.
That subsidy is far greater than most subsidies on the health insurance exchanges, not to mention that it blatantly defies the congressional intent of the provision in question. What’s more, the controversial OPM ruling may be illegal.
With that said, it’s also true that most congressional staffers aren’t raking in big bucks. Most of the high-dollar salaries are reserved for chiefs of staff ($100,000+ per year) and legislative directors and assistants ($90,000 and $75,000 range, respectively). Higher ranking committee staffers also do pretty well.
Low-dollar staffers are the ones who would feel the pain if the 75% premium subsidy weren’t there. The argument is that these staffers work a lot of hours for little pay in an area with a high cost-of-living. That’s not in doubt, and I sympathize with them, as congressional staffers are often unfairly maligned. The comments recently made by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) are a perfect example of that.
While I don’t mean to demean anyone working on the Hill (I have several friends who work in congressional offices), how are their lives different from the average American who makes too much money to qualify for subsidies on the exchange and can’t afford to shell out $150 to $200+ a month for a health insurance plan?
With all due respect to Ron Paul Problems and staffers on the Hill, that’s where the frustration is coming from, and it’s completely understandable why people feel they way they do about the OPM “fix.”
NOTE: Ron Paul Problems explains that the 75% subsidy was already in place as an employer contribution for health insurance. I get that. But the intent of the Grassley amendment was “shared suffering,” if you will. That Congress would experience the same pain that Americans purchasing coverage on the exchange would feel.Source: freeplanetickettonorthkorea