Senator David Vitter (R-LA) explains how Sen. Harry Reid and President Obama are using illegal administrative carve outs to avoid the consequences of the Obamacare law they fought to pass. The law put in place provisions that would force all members of Congress onto the Obamacare exchanges, but the Reid/Obama team is giving them a way out. Vitter makes his case here against the elite ruling class in Washington D.C.
First, as a matter of principle, Washington should be treated like the rest of America, not like an elite ruling class. Second, as a very practical matter, making the chefs eat their own cooking does wonders for the quality of what comes out of the kitchen.
But most of Washington strongly disagrees. Threatened by these radical ideas, Senate majority leader Harry Reid and others stepped in to protect their own. After they waged a fierce lobbying campaign and President Obama personally weighed in, the Obama administration issued an illegal administrative fix to take the sting out of this section of the Obamacare statute. It gives members of Congress and their staff members who go to the Obamacare exchange a special subsidy that is unavailable to any other Americans. It also creates a loophole by which many staff members don’t have to go to the exchange at all, but only those designated as “official” — with that decision left up to each individual member of Congress.
This is just flat-out ridiculous.
The Obamacare statute is crystal-clear to me. It says that every member of Congress and all of their staff will have to purchase their health care on the Obamacare exchange. So all of my staff — in Louisiana, in Washington, D.C., and on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — will be joining me in going to the Obamacare exchange. I will not use the ridiculous loophole to exempt any of us.
Unfortunately, plenty of other members have chosen to take advantage of that loophole. Some, like Harry Reid, have designated their personal office staff as “official” (meaning they go to the exchange), but not their committee or leadership staff (meaning they can keep their heavily subsidized “Cadillac” plan). Other members have exempted everyone in their office, making the interesting declaration that they have no “official” staff. (So why exactly do these people get taxpayer-funded salaries, benefits, work space, computers . . .?)