Congressional staff caught in middle of Obamacare dispute
October 31st, 2013
12:48 PM ET
12 months ago

Congressional staff caught in middle of Obamacare dispute

Washington (CNN) - As members of Congress point at problems with HealthCare.gov, lawmakers themselves are scrambling and, in and some cases, sparking cries of hypocrisy over how they'll handle the one piece of Obamacare under their control: whether their own staff should be forced into the exchanges.

Members of Congress have until the end of the day on Thursday to make up their minds, and Democrats and Republicans are divided internally on the politically tricky issue.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Congress • Health care • Obamacare
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    I think entire USA better kick these congress guys. Evil goes away. ACA is a Law.

    October 31, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "politically tricky issue"

    Shouldn't be. Federal Gov't = Large employer. ACA requires large employers to provide health insurance benefits for their employees. Simple. The only thing "tricky" about it is the MSM's deliberate refusal to thoroughly debunk the 100% lie about it being some sort of "exemption" that these staffers are not being forced into the exchanges. Neither are the overwhelming, vast majority of people in this country who receive and will continue to receive health insurance benefits from their employer. There's no reason whatsoever the federal gov't should get an exemption from that mandate while private employers have to obey it.

    October 31, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. rs

    So much for the Republican exemption story!

    October 31, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Republican insistence that members of Congress and their staff should directly experience the law they passed, "

    Carry the GOP/Teatrolls' water much? By receiving health insurance benefits from their employer, plans that satisfy the ACA's baseline requirements for what plans must include, they ARE "experiencing the law they passed." CNN yet again gives the GOP/Teatrolls' mischaracterizations a pass by simply regurgitating them as fact....when they're anything but.

    October 31, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Why force people into the exchanges when the already have coverage as a job benefit?

    October 31, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Donna

    They are not caught in anything. They should be subject to the laws of the land like everybody else and with no special treatment. It really is that simple. Any law that does not apply to all of us is unconstitutional and needs to be gotten rid of. We cannot be a nation full of laws that only are enforced on certain people. That is a form of tyranny.

    October 31, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    We all know that Congress, is NOT going to give up what they already have........because they get the best there is.........and we all know it.

    October 31, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Congress doesn't care about their staff.

    October 31, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Donna

    They are not caught in anything. They should be subject to the laws of the land like everybody else and with no special treatment. It really is that simple. Any law that does not apply to all of us is unconstitutional and needs to be gotten rid of. We cannot be a nation full of laws that only are enforced on certain people. That is a form of tyranny.
    --------------------
    Stubborn ignorance is no excuse for this lack of understanding. What is so hard about realizing that the staffers already have medical insurance as part of their jobs benefits package? Talk about right wing density. Sheesh.

    Donna's complaint would be similar to having the government demand that all employees at a very large private company forfeit their employer provided health insurance, and go buy health insurance on the open market. Sometimes I have to really wonder if there are any conservatives out there who understand what hypocrisy means and actually is.

    October 31, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. just asking

    Rudy NYC
    Why force people into the exchanges when the already have coverage as a job benefit?
    --

    why force old people to pay for maternity and pediatric coverage? why force men to pay for maternity coverage? why force people to buy health insurance they don't need and with a $5000 deductible?

    hey, this is liberal healthcare "reform". nothing needs to makes sense.

    October 31, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. jenn, philadelphia

    Maybe "exemption" isn't the word, but Congress did give themselves and their staff a subsidy that not every American (who makes what they do) is eligible to receive. And if the idea behind it so they do lose qualified people, wouldn't those same people have to go into the exchange if they quit their jobs?

    October 31, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    " They should be subject to the laws of the land like everybody else and with no special treatment. It really is that simple. Any law that does not apply to all of us is unconstitutional and needs to be gotten rid of. "

    You make wonderful arguments for why Grassley's amendment should be taken out of the ACA and why it was horribly unfair, inequitable and petty for it to be put in there in the first place. Fact: Grassley's amendment makes it so that staffers are receiving 'special" treatment, not the other way around...they'd be receiving special UNFAIR AND INEQUITABLE treatment because they'd be (a) the only people in the country who work for a large employer that is not only not required, but actually prohibited, from providing their health insurance benefits AND (b) the only people in the country who are prohibited from obtaining a subsidy if they purchase insurance on the exchanges no matter what...even if they otherwise meet all income and need requirements that everyone else has to meet.

    "Maybe "exemption" isn't the word, but Congress did give themselves and their staff a subsidy that not every American (who makes what they do) is eligible to receive"

    No they didn't. That's not even remotely true.

    October 31, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    just asking wrote:

    why force old people to pay for maternity and pediatric coverage? why force men to pay for maternity coverage? why force people to buy health insurance they don't need and with a $5000 deductible?
    ----------------------
    Why force women to pay for a man's prostate treatments? Why force a middle aged man to pay for somebody's kid with the chickenpox? Why force people to pay higher prices for health insurance because some people go around without coverage and literal shoplift health care from care providers?

    Did you know that Republicans had a health care reform plan of their own before they allowed themselves to be run over by the Tea Party? It is nearly identical to Obamacare except that there is no individual mandate, and it raises the income ceiling limits for Medicaid so that many lower middle class families would qualify. The Tea Party would flay it if the establishment Republicans, like Boehner, ever tried to roll it out again.

    October 31, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Donna

    Here's the real, Democrat desired solution. Cancel ALL of their insurance and enroll them all in Medicaid. Let all of the federal employees experience first hand the healthcare system the Democrats strive to give all of us. Totally government paid for, single payer right? Go for it Democrats. Put your healthcare where your mouth is!

    October 31, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, 54, was indicted in 2008 on charges of extortion, bribery, insurance fraud, money laundering and racketeering related to a 2005 money-laundering scheme that netted the Flagstaff Republican more than $700,000.

    why force people to buy health insurance they don't need

    October 31, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    @just asking–why? You know the answer to why when you get sick, hospital sends you the bill tantamount to your house. Garnish your wage and attach home. O.k. Lot of homes lost thus.

    October 31, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Sammy

    Why doesn't everyone have to have Obamacare if it is so great!!!! let our leader be one of the first to sign-on. Haha

    October 31, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Donna

    Here's the real, Democrat desired solution. Cancel ALL of their insurance and enroll them all in Medicaid. Let all of the federal employees experience first hand the healthcare system the Democrats strive to give all of us. Totally government paid for, single payer right? Go for it Democrats. Put your healthcare where your mouth is!
    -------------------------
    Actually, that is almost identical to the "Republican Health Care Reform" that Boehner rolled out in 2009. Your idea is identical except for the fact that he puts means testing into whether or not you get free Medicaid. The plan raises the income limit to be eligile significantly, to over $40,000 per year.

    October 31, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |