Steve posted a short piece about this today, and I would like to expand upon it. Let me begin with the words of Dr. Donald Berwick, the President’s original pick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do.
The Affordable Care Act requires Members of Congress and their staffs to participate in its insurance exchanges, in order to gain first-hand experience with what they’re about to impose on their constituents.
I can only assume that our leaders have finally read the law, and, having done so, have no desire to gain said “first-hand experience”. Congress, of course, couldn’t amend the law itself without inspiring a palace revolt, so the Democrats at last week’s meeting with the President beseeched him to do so. And, to no one’s surprise, he did. Congress and its staff doesn’t have to abide by the law.
What does this mean, you ask?
So I did a little digging. The Kaiser Family Foundation has a web site that will calculate the premiums and the subsidies available under Obamacare. According to it, a family of 4 will pay $9869 for an exchange insurance policy. Although I don’t believe that figure for a minute, let’s use it.
If you are one of the 11,000 members of Congress, or its staff, who make $174,000 or more, your subsidy under Obamacare as written would be $ 0. But, thanks to the President’s recent edict, the American taxpayers will pay $7401 of that amount for you.
As very few make that kind of money, let me give you another example. On Obamacare’s exchanges, a premium for a single person making $40,000 a year would be $3018. Unless you are a member of the elite, you will get no premium subsidy. But, if you are a member of the privileged class working for Congress, the taxpayers will pay $2263 of that amount for you.
Feel like a doormat yet?
As Congress is now out of session until September 9, members of Congress will hold town hall meetings. When you attend, ask them why there are now two classes of citizens in this country…not rich vs. poor, or black vs. white, but rather, Washington vs. the American people.