Tester Defends Obamacare Exemption for Congress

Aaron Flint posted on September 05, 2013 13:57 :: 2439 Views

Yesterday, I pointed out how Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) has attempted to explain away his Obamacare “train wreck” remarks by saying how he is now satisfied with the changes that have been made. 

Not everyone is satisfied, of course.  In fact, critics are pointing to the Obamacare exemption for members of Congress as just one problem that remains with the law. 

Not Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT).  His office is defending the Obamacare exemption for Congress, as Mike Dennison points out in his latest column

Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Steve Daines of Montana, are blasting the White House for supporting an “Obamacare” rule change that says the federal government can continue paying a share of health coverage costs for Congress and its staff.

Daines said recently the rule is a “special exemption” from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, for members of Congress and their staff.

“It makes sense for members of Congress and their staff to buy their health insurance in the new marketplace,” said Andrea Helling, a spokesman for Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. “It also makes sense for Congress to continue to provide the existing employer support for employee health insurance premiums, and that’s what OPM’s ruling will allow.”


Ted Cruz Ad Targets Obamacare, References Baucus

US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) targets Obamacare in a new TV ad that gives a prominent mention to Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana. 

Click below to watch:

In the ad, Sen. Cruz says, “Its time for Congress to grant American families the same waiver President Obama has given giant corporations.”  Cruz also referenced Baucus’ remarks referring to the law as a “train wreck.”

Now, The Washington Post  is attempting to explain away the Baucus remarks

From The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler:

Ever since the Montana senator, a key writer of the bill, uttered the phrase “huge train wreck” during an April 17 budget hearing, his words have become a major GOP talking point. But Baucus’s comment has been taken out of context — and he has since said that his concerns have been addressed.

During the hearing, Baucus had a tough six-minute exchange with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding his concerns about whether the administration was doing enough to educate Americans, especially in the business community, about the law.

Meanwhile, in July, Baucus wrote an opinion article for Politico in which he said that the administration had addressed his concerns, especially because the administration announced it would delay implementation of the employer mandate until 2015 in order to give businesses more time to get ready for the law.

While Baucus says his concerns have since been addressed…why doesn’t he answer the very question Ted Cruz is asking:  If a delay in Obamacare is good enough for big business, why isn’t a delay good enough for the American people? 

As The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler attempts to flack for Baucus and Obamacare- his column denies a very obvious fact.  Just days after he uttered his “train wreck” remarks, Sen. Max Baucus was forced to announce that he would not be seeking re-election in 2014. 

Since that time, Sen. Baucus has attempted to walk back his remarks.  Despite Sen. Baucus’ efforts in subsequent Politico columns to walk back his remarks, I hate to break it to Glenn, but that train already left the station.

Meanwhile…the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka says more changes are needed to Obamacare:

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