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Comments about ‘Congress' health care waiver praised on Capitol Hill, panned elsewhere’

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Rep. Chris Stewart says 'it was the right thing to do'

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 7 2013 4:04 p.m. MDT

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dogchow1
Salt Lake City, UT

I have some laws that I would like suspended. Do you think the White House can help me out? What is the purpose of passing laws if you can suspend at will all or parts of it at any time? Where does this power come from and where does it end?

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

I wish I could opt out of Obamacare too!

VST
Bountiful, UT

So then, what is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. Is that what the President and Congress (including Republicans) are saying?

And can anyone reasonably (and legally) explain to me how the President can selectively choose what sections of a law (Obamacare in this case) are to be implemented without going back to Congress?

It is very obvious to me he wants to avoid a potential brew-haw in Congress over Obamacare implementation if he can get away from it.

Gr8Dane
Tremonton, UT

The federal government has long given Congress and their staff health care benefits virtually identical to those in the rest of the federal civilian workforce. From what I read, Congress is not exempting themselves from Obamacare. In fact, they and their staffs must now choose a health plan from Obamacare "exchanges," and not the traditional federal health plans (Aetna, Blue Cross, etc.) that continue to be offered to federal workers.

So what's so great about that? The only news is that the federal government will continue to do as they have done for decades in paying for the employer portion of the new plans. Congress and staff will not be eligible for tax deduction for their portion of the premiums. So it's really not that great of a deal for them. Who knows what coverage theyll be able to get, but its doubtful that it will be anything like what they have been receiving.

While many Congressmen and Senators are independently wealthy, some are not, and virtually none of their staff are. Its unfair to treat their staff differently than other federal workers. They either ought to make all federal employees go to the exchanges or none.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Thank you Obama voters.

Viva la Migra
American Fork, UT

The gall of these politicians. They are so concerned with their staff, but seem to forget that their constituents are facing the exact same Problem.

I've looked into Obamacare and have seen that my household income is above the amount that qualifies for any subsidy. Because of this, if my family were to lose access to employer provided health care (currently being discussed by the owners), we would face having to pay an extra $900 per MONTH to obtain an inferior "Silver" plan which requires a $2000 per person deductible before benefits kick in.

This means the $15 co-pay we give our doctor, would turn into $125 retail price prior to the deductible being met, and $50 after. The $10 we pay for prescriptions would be full price until a $250 deductible is met, and then it would start at $60. So a typical visit to the doctor for a Sinus infection would climb from $45 for the Dr + 3 prescriptions to over $300. And they call this "affordable"?

I'm going to call the offices of my "representatives" tomorrow and congratulate them on managing to escape Obamacare without having to leave the country.

washcomom
Beaverton, OR

And for the rest of us??? Do we get the same reprieve?

Gr8Dane
Tremonton, UT

The Facts are: Congress did NOT exempt themselves from Obamacare. They and their staffs are still required to purchase a plan from the Obamacare "exchanges." No exactly a good thing.

Yes, the government as their "employer" will continue to pay the employer share of the premium as they do now.

However, they will NOT get a tax exemption or credit for any of their health care, as the rest of us taxpayers get.

It's kind of unfair still to the staff that they and their families have to be dragged along with their politician bosses into Obamacare exchanges while the rest of the federal workforce (IRS, FBI, TSA, DoD Civilians, Forest Service, BLM, etc.) all can continue with the regular and normal Federal health benefit plans. Staffers have that choice removed from them.

This story is completely overblown. Just because it involves Congress and staff and can be twisted to make it look like they're getting some fantastic new benefit courtesy of taxpayers, when from what I see that's really not the case.

Meadow Lark Mark
IDAHO FALLS, ID

I wish I knew what is going to happen. "Affordable Care Act" could be one of the biggest jokes of recent times. The problem is I don't know many people who are laughing. WE CANNOT AFFORD the "Affordable Care Act." IT IS GOING TO BANKRUPT THIS COUNTRY!!!!!! Those who think this is a good thing for us are not intelligent. Obama and the rest of the politicians on all sides of the court are truly pushing to destroy us. They truly want to destroy us and make us all serfs. If this stupid law continues to go forth it is going to ruin this country!!!!!

Viva la Migra
American Fork, UT

Gr8Dane,

I think what you're missing is that most of these staffers were complaining because according to the "affordable health care" law, their salary was too high to qualify for any government subsidy, and they didn't like the idea of having to pay $1200 per month for insurance.

So Obama and Congressional worked out a deal for the government (aka us taxpayers) to subsidize their health care by paying 75% of the premiums. This means they would only have to pay $300 a month for the same plan that would cost a not-so-special American worker earning the same salary, $1200 a month for.

The other big problem for someone like me is currently my employer-provided plan is paid for using pre-tax dollars. Obamacare puts the full burden on me using post-tax dollars. In my tax world, it takes about $2000 pre-tax dollars to equate to $1200 after taxes. So insurance is almost 7 times as expensive as it was before this fiasco was passed.

Try and track down the open letter that Louisiana Senator David Vitter wrote to Obama/Congressional leaders about this proposal to see why it's so bad.

New to Utah
PAYSON, UT

Potomac fever is when politicians and their staff move to DC and drink the water or better put kool aid. Somehow now they need to be treated differently because, hey they are now living in DC.
This is why DC needs to be downsized.

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