Let’s be perfectly clear about this from the beginning. Congress is not “exempt” from Obamacare. The idea that members of Congress are somehow exempt from the law is possibly one of the grossest lies foisted upon the American public in the last several years. Indeed, members of Congress have no choice but to sign up for a health insurance policy through the Affordable Care Act. That’s the opposite of exempt.
And the reason why members of Congress and their staffers have to leave the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and sign up for health insurance through the ACA is because Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced an amendment to the Senate healthcare bill in the Finance Committee and the committee unanimously adopted it with the help of senators John Ensign (R-NV), Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The amendment reads as follows:
H.R. 3590: D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE.— (i) REQUIREMENT.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are— (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).
So when Republican members of Congress complain about being forced to sign up for Obamacare, they only have their own caucus to blame for forcing them off a perfectly good government-run health insurance program, FEHBP, and onto, frankly, a much-less-government-run health insurance program via the exchanges. Specifically, I’m talking about Republican members of Congress like Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) who’s stupidity about the law is without limits.
Gohmert is so flaming angry about being forced to sign up for a policy through the exchanges that he’s decided to go uninsured and pay the individual mandate tax penalty for violating the law.
Back in September he announced that he’s refusing to buy a new insurance plan via the ACA exchanges… [CONTINUED HERE]