Published: Thursday, Aug. 15 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
Way to rant about something that isn't true... just read Ezra Klein's
article "No, Congress isn't trying to exempt itself from
And after Mr. Obama writes it on the chalkboard, Nancy Pelosi should be ordered
to read it.
"he exempted Congress and congressional aides from the very law they passed
so that they will continue to receive a large taxpayer subsidy for their health
insurance premiums"Yes Ron, the optimal word here is
"CONTINUE".Just like many employers "subsidize"
(i.e. pay a portion) their workers health care costs.Then,
Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa championed a bill removing the employer
contribution part of health care for congressional employees making their
healthcare costs skyrocket.His thought was to force others to
correct the injustice and in doing so, elicit exactly your kind of response.And you fell for it. HOOK, LINE and SINKER.Feel used?
A brief history: In the drafting stage, Obamacare did not apply to congress
because they get their insurance through the federal government employee plan.
Republican senator Chuck Grassley put up an amendment that would require
congress to get insurance through the exchanges, like other Americans who lacked
employer provided coverage. He thought that Democrats would reject this idea,
which could then be used as a talking point against them. Well to his surprise,
they accepted it as part of the bill. What they did not specify is how the
government would pay for their share of the premiums, they currently pay 72%,
which is about average for an employer sponsored plan.All that has
happened is that the government issued an administrative clarification stating
that the government would continue to pay the same percentage of premiums as it
currently does. It did not exempt congress from getting coverage through the
exchanges. Many conservative sources are attempting to portray this as Obama
exempting congress from Obamacare. The author of this letter apparently fell for
Well, this letter is false. Members of Congress will be joining insurance
exchanges just like the rest of us. They get a premium subsidy just like the
rest of us whose employers are willing to pay part of our premiums. Sorry, you
faux-angry Republicans, but your pants are on fire.
Re: "I am not the king"If he were to write it, here's
betting he'd add a word -- "yet."
Rather than DN printing a letter from one of their subscribers who is clearly
misinformed why doesn't DN write an article laying out the facts?Those purchasing health insurance from the exchanges will be those aren't
covered by an employer plan, Congress and their staff. Congress will be
the only large employer in the exchange. The "subsidies" for Congress
should not be confused with the subsidies available to those who can't
afford health insurance.
Why should the "temp workers" that serve in Congress get any benefits,
including health care? Why shouldn't they receive the same benefits that
any other "temp worker" receives, i.e., NONE? Why shouldn't they
pay the full price for their own healthcare? They are temp workers who wanted
to serve TEMPORARILY. They have businesses or jobs to return to after their
temp service is over. Surely, their business or jobs provided them with health
insurance. Surely that business or job would extend their coverage for the
short time that that person served his country as an elected official. Those who have turned "temp service" into a cushy life-time job should
have all "benefits" stripped, including the barber shop. Let them pay
the same price as every other American for everything. Let them pay the full
cost of the "heath insurance" that they imposed on all of us. Let them
be paid a very modest wage; the same wage they would receive for any "temp
service" job. If they were not allowed to be "royalty",
they would not act like "royalty". If they were paupers, they would
consider us "paupers" when they passed legislation.
I do not begrudge the salaries that Congressmen get (although I do begrudge them
accomplishing nothing).In general, they are highly educated and
accomplished leaders (in general, not always)These people are making
far far less than they would make in private business. Do we want
only people serving in Congress that are only worth what they are paid?Personally, I would much rather see them get a huge salary increase but lose
all the lobby perks, insider information they trade on and all the other
"perks" which allow them to get rich while making under $200K per year.
I think Congress and all government employees should be in the same retirement
system we are in, and have to pay for their health insurance like we do. THEN
maybe they would pass legislation they themselves would like to live with.
If a Rodeo clown who makes fun of Obama loses his job, that sounds like
something that would happen under a king, not a president.
I have one question. If this was known to be case when the amendment was
presented, then why did the supporters of Obamacare allow Grassley's
amendment to pass?Is this an example of where Nancy Pelosi said
"…we have to pass it [the big bill] in order to see what is in
it?"Sorry, but this is not just an "administrative
clarification." The President does NOT have the Constitutional authority to
"administratively add" or to "pick and choose" which portions of
the law he is required to "faithfully execute" per that same
Constitution. If this was an omission from the law, then the law needs to be
amended by Congress to explicitly clarify HOW the premium amount paid by the
government will be calculated for those members of Congress and their staff.This is a valid yearly budget issue; not something that is paid out of
the President's petty cash drawer.
If Obamacare is so great and revolutionary, then why does it keep getting
delayed? If it was so great it should be implemented ASAP. But it's not.
Great things never get delayed only tyrannical things.
@2 bits"I think Congress and all government employees should be
in the same retirement system we are in, and have to pay for their health
insurance like we do. THEN maybe they would pass legislation they themselves
would like to live with."I can tell you know NOTHING about the
federal employees health benefit plan or the federal employee retirement system.
We pay for our health insurance the same as other employees in a large company.
We also have a 401K program for our retirement called the TSP, similar to a
401K in a private company. I guess the people who work full-time
for the country should receive no benefits? Is that what I read from you and
your conservative friends? I guess I shouldn't receive a paycheck either?
Please don't lump rank and file employees in with the elected do-nothing
@MikeRichardsIn the past I have done work on contract from anywhere from 6
months to 2 years. Each time I had insurance through those companies. I have no
problem with giving senators or congressmen insurance. While they are in office.
When they are out of office they shouldn't continue to get insurance
through congress, but it's absurd not to give it while they are in office.
A job of that level is going to carry benefits in the private sector, I see no
problem with giving it to public sector workers as well.
CHS 85,When I worked for the State (long ago) State employees didn't
pay SS taxes because we were part of the State Retirement System (not something
normal citizens could participate in). That's what I'm talking
about... government employees participating in one retirement system while the
peasants have to rely on Social Security being there when they need it.I understand Congress has a very cushy everything's covered healthcare
plan. If Medicaid/Medicare is so good for the masses... why don't THEY
use it? Maybe THEN they would make sure Medicare covered more things, and make
sure Medicare and Social Security funds don't run out of money.
We often forget what the word "service" means. The forefathers had the
idea that people would be willing to leave their farms or businesses to
"serve" their fellowman for a short time. Those who served didn't
expect "free" or "discounted" perks from the people. They
"served" and then they went back to whatever it was that they did before
they answered the call to "serve".Right now, there are
millions all across America who "serve" without pay. Every church that
has a lay clergy follows that principle. Many of those people are highly
qualified. Many of them could command a very high salary for their expertise;
but, they serve without pay.Members of Congress have forgotton what
"service" means. The President has forgotten what "service"
means. They demand private jets or first class seating on commercial flights so
that they don't have to "rub elbows" with us common people. They
ride around in limos. They isolate themselves from the citizens. They must
think that they live in France at the time of Louis XVI. Nothing is too good
for them. It's time to call them all home and let "service
minded" people "serve".
@Anti Bush-ObamaWashington, DCIf a Rodeo clown who makes fun
of Obama loses his job, that sounds like something that would happen under a
king, not a president.12:06 p.m. Aug. 15, 2013===== I didn't know Glenn Beck lost his job...
2 bits.You are all over the map.First you say "When
I worked for the State (long ago) State employees didn't pay SS taxes
because we were part of the State Retirement System (not something normal
citizens could participate in)." Then you seem to lump Congress
and their healthcare plan into the same scenario as the stateCorrect
me if I am wrong, but I thought conservatives believed in things being run by
the state.Seems like you are having a hard time distinguishing
between the two.
Joe,I assumed that Federal Employees have a similar retirement program and
medical program (like Utah Public Employee Benefit Program).I
don't think it's such a crime to lump public employees together (State
or Federal their are "public employees"). Must they be separated and
never addressed together in your mind? In my mind you're a "public
employee" whether you work for the State OR the Federal Government. So let's address them separately (as to not be all over the map).
State employees should be in the same retirement system as the rest of us.
Federal employees should be in the same retirement system as the rest of us.
There... how's that?And State and Federal employees should also
get the same medical coverage they think is OK for the masses (IF they think
Medicare/Medicaid are good enough for the masses).IF (or should I
say when) we go to a single-payer government health insurance for all.. do you
think Congress is going to be on that program? I doubt it. I think there will
be a different system for them.
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