Obamacare Exemptions: “The Rules Don’t Apply to Us”

Last week it was revealed that secret negotiations were happening on Capitol Hill between House and Senate leadership regarding a key requirement of Obamacare—that members of Congress and their staff purchase healthcare coverage through insurance exchanges.

Republicans slammed the Democrats for trying to create a special exception for themselves in the President’s landmark health care legislation. The healthcare law requires lawmakers and congressional staff to buy their healthcare coverage through the newly created insurance exchanges.

Democrats denied the claim and argued they have not sought an exemption and would not support one if proposed. Senator Harry Reid’s spokesman also denied the claim.

Congress created this legislation and it only seems fair that they abide by the regulations which are now being inflicted on the rest of us Americans.

In referencing the secret meetings, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an op-ed in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer that “Democrats have no one to blame but themselves for the health-care “train wreck” that’s about to be inflicted upon hardworking Americans.”

The fact remains that many Americans are unclear about the impact of Obamacare and whether they will be able to maintain current coverage and how much their premiums will increase. A survey released last week claimed that 49 percent of Americans do not understand how the law will affect their families. This is a significant number of people who could benefit from additional information about the legislation’s impact on their daily lives and their family’s overall budget. As we all know, healthcare costs can comprise a significant chunk of any family’s budget, especially if a serious illness arises.

There is merit to some Republican’s assertions that this Administration should publicly explain to Americans what lies ahead for them in Obamcare. The revelation about the secret meetings and their apparent “cover up” sums up what many Americans feel about our legislative process, that Congress makes the laws, but somehow, the rules simply do not apply to them.

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), an outspoken opponent of Obamcare and opposed to exempting Congress from the exchanges, seemed to sum up the situation:

“I have no problems with Congress being under the same guidelines,” Burr said. “I think if this is going to be a disaster—which I think it’s going to be—we ought to enjoy it together with our constituents.”

Cherylyn Harley LeBon is former Policy Director for MyGovCost.org at the Independent Institute. She received her B.A. in history cum laude from Canisius College and her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin.
Beacon Posts by Cherylyn LeBon | Full Biography and Publications
  • Catalyst
  • Beyond Homeless
  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org