Seriously: DC Lawmakers Seek Obamacare Exemption

Aaron Flint posted on April 25, 2013 09:36 :: 1006 Views

This isn’t just an Internet rumor soon to be debunked at, nope this is real folks.

From Politico Playbook:

SCOOP – “Lawmakers, aides may get Obamacare exemption,” by John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman, with Jennifer Haberkorn: “Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said. The talks – which involve Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner, the Obama administration and other top lawmakers – are extraordinarily sensitive, with both sides acutely aware of the potential for political fallout from giving carve-outs from the hugely controversial law to 535 lawmakers and thousands of their aides. … A source close to the [months-long] talks says: ‘Everyone has to hold hands on this and jump, or nothing is going to get done.’ Yet if Capitol Hill leaders move forward with the plan, they risk being dubbed hypocrites by their political rivals and the American public. … Democrats, in particular, would take a public hammering … Republicans would undoubtedly attempt to shred them over any attempt to escape coverage by it, unless Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell give Democrats cover by backing it.

“There is concern in some quarters that the provision requiring lawmakers and staffers to join the exchanges, if it isn’t revised, could lead to a ‘brain drain’ on Capitol Hill … The problem stems from whether members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health insurance premiums subsidized by their employer, … the federal government. If not, aides and lawmakers in both parties fear that staffers … could be hit with thousands of dollars in new health care costs, prompting them to seek jobs elsewhere. Older, more senior staffers could also retire or jump to the private sector rather than face a big financial penalty. … House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) … has personally raised the issue with Boehner and other party leaders … Several proposals have been submitted to the Office of Personnel Management, which will administer the benefits. One proposal exempts lawmakers and aides; the other exempts aides alone. … Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesman, said: ‘The speaker … is approached daily by American citizens, including members of Congress and staff, who want to be freed from its mandates. If the speaker has the opportunity to save anyone from Obamacare, he will.’ …

And, it is now official- the Obamacare Medicaid expansion did not gain the endorsement of the Montana State Legislature.

From the AP:

The Montana Legislature ended the 2013 session Wednesday with several bills favored by one party or the other failing to make the cut — with Gov. Steve Bullock’s plan to expand Medicaid to up to 70,000 residents foremost among them.

House Majority Leader Rep. Gordon Vance, of Bozeman, said he was disappointed with measures that increased spending and didn’t cut enough in taxes, but he considered the failure of the Democratic governor’s Medicaid expansion a win for the Republican Party.

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