From the Wall Street Journal.
To adapt H.L. Mencken, nobody ever went broke underestimating the cynicism and self-dealing of the American political class. Witness their ad-libbed decision, at the 11th hour and on the basis of no legal authority, to create a special exemption for themselves from the ObamaCare health coverage that everybody else is mandated to buy.
[...][Obamacare] means that about 11,000 Members and Congressional staff will lose the generous coverage they now have as part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Instead they will get the lower-quality, low-choice “Medicaid Plus” of the exchanges. The Members—annual salary: $174,000—and their better paid aides also wouldn’t qualify for ObamaCare subsidies. That means they could be exposed to thousands of dollars a year in out-of-pocket insurance costs.
The result was a full wig out on Capitol Hill, with Members of both parties fretting about “brain drain” as staff face higher health-care costs. Democrats in particular begged the White House for help, claiming the Reid language was merely an unintentional mistake. President Obama told Democrats in a closed-door meeting last week that he would personally moonlight as HR manager and resolve the issue.
And now the White House is suspending the law to create a double standard. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that runs federal benefits will release regulatory details this week, but leaks to the press suggest that Congress will receive extra payments based on the FEHBP defined-contribution formula, which covers about 75% of the cost of the average insurance plan. For 2013, that’s about $4,900 for individuals and $10,000 for families.
[...]This latest White House night at the improv is also illegal. OPM has no authority to pay for insurance plans that lack FEHBP contracts, nor does the Affordable Care Act permit either exchange contributions or a unilateral bump in congressional pay in return for less overall compensation. Those things require appropriations bills passed by Congress and signed by the President.
But the White House rejected a legislative fix because Republicans might insist on other changes, and Mr. Obama feared that Democrats would go along because they’re looking out for number one. So the White House is once again rewriting the law unilaterally, much as it did by suspending ObamaCare’s employer mandate for a year. For this White House, the law it wrote is a mere suggestion.
The lesson for Americans is that Democrats who passed ObamaCare didn’t even understand what they were doing to themselves, much less to everyone else. But you can bet Democrats will never extend to ordinary Americans the same fixes that they are now claiming for themselves. The real class divide in President Obama’s America is between the political class and everyone else.
Just keep in mind that there is only one party fighting to repeal this monstrosity, and it’s the Republican Party. The Democrat Party wrote this bill, they supported this bill, and their supporters helped push it through. Now they are trying to get THEMSELVES out of it. But they still want it to apply to YOU. The only people trying to get YOU out of it is the Republican Party.
- IRS employee union opposes making Obamacare apply to themselves
- Three labor union leaders write letter to Democrats attacking Obamacare
- Labor unions who lobbied for Obamacare receive the most waivers from Obamacare
- Obamacare contains billions of dollars in pork for Obama’s union allies
- Obamacare waivers skyrocket to 729 including TONS of unions
- Ezra Klein on the costs of Obamacare: then and now
- New report on Obamacare claims that premiums will go up 100% to 400%
- How does Obamacare cause medical premiums to rise?
- Medical premiums will continue to rise as Obamacare is implemented
- Health insurance premiums up $3,000 since Obama was elected
- Obamacare: higher taxes, higher debt, higher unemployment and higher premiums
- Has the passage of Obamacare reduced health insurance premiums?