American Elephants

ObamaCare is Settled Law! Until it Isn’t Convenient. by The Elephant's Child

Sometimes you just have to scratch your head and wonder what the hell? Democrats indignantly claim that ObamaCare is “settled law.” Unchangeable, Supreme Court certification, law of the land — stop trying to defund, repeal, oppose, criticize — it’s over, done, settled. So why does Obama keep illegally changing the settled law? He’s the President of the United States — who is going to stop him?

He’s postponing, conveniently, the employer mandate until after the 2014 election when Republicans hope to gain control of the Senate and Democrats hope to win back the House. Why? Because when the employer mandate takes effect many people who have health care policies they like— can’t keep the policies they like, because something will have changed. And that might change their vote. Most employers are not stupid enough to include the over-generous grab-basket of unwanted benefits that consist of approved ObamaCare policies. And a change will force employees on the exchanges.

Obama decided it was inconvenient to have members of Congress and their staffs have to participate in ObamaCare in the same way that the great unwashed rest of us do. I guess he’ll keep illegally changing the “settled law” until he gets it right.

According to a report from “weeks after denying labor’s request to give union members access to health-law subsidies, the Obama administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law’s substantial taxes,” reads the  report.

Buried in rules issued last week is the disclosure that the administration will propose exempting “certain self-insured, self-administered plans” from the law’s temporary reinsurance fee in 2015 and 2016.

That’s a description that applies to many Taft-Hartley union plans acting as their own insurance company and claims processor, said Edward Fensholt, a senior vice president at Lockton Cos., a large insurance broker.

Insurance companies and self-insured employers that hire outside claims administrators would still be liable for the fee, which starts at $63 per insurance plan member next year and is projected to raise $25 billion over three years.

This is pure Chicago politics brought to the nation’s capitol. We fund you, you do us favors if you want us to continue the funding.  The fee “takes money from the pockets of each laborer covered by a health and welfare fund and gives it to for-profit insurance companies” said Terry O’Sullivan president of the Laborers International Union of North America in a letter to President Obama. Goodness, insurance companies expect to make a profit?

Dear Congressmen: Are You Sure You Want To Be Exempted From ObamaCare? by The Elephant's Child


Americans don’t like ObamaCare, and the more they learn about it, the less they like it. Obama promised that their costs would decline by $2,500 for a family of four, and they are learning that is not true. Obama promised that they would have the same excellent health care plan that members of Congress had. So when the Affordable Care Act (the formal name makes me snicker) was passed, a caveat was included that members of Congress and their staffs had to participate, just like everybody else.

Members of Congress squawked, as did their staffs, many of whom suggested they might have to resign rather than bear the cost. So of course Obama ordered an exemption for members of Congress and staffs. But he cannot do that. This the law of the land, as they keep reminding us. Not even the President of the United States can just say nevermind. It doesn’t work that way. Zero legal authority.

The Affordable Care Act requires the 11.000 people who work on Capitol Hill to purchase their health insurance on its exchanges, but many of them earn too much to qualify for subsidies. That’s a financial hit worth about $5,000 for individuals and $11,000 for families. Polls show that over 90 percent of Americans object strenuously to the special privilege the Obama  administration has delivered to members of Congress.

Republicans have voted to defund ObamaCare somewhere around 44 times, but nobody is fooled by the gesture. No member of Congress, especially Republicans, should dare face the voters next year if they have not enlisted in ObamaCare just as they are forcing the rest of the country to do. The Congress are the servants of the American people and serve at their pleasure, and can be removed at their pleasure. Yes, you won’t like it. Yes, it will cost you a whole bunch more. You put this wretched law together behind closed doors with no input from Republicans, forced it through with all sorts of sleazy deals, and passed it without a single Republican vote.

If this represents a struggle between your wallets and your principles, Republicans had better opt for principles. This one is a no-brainier. Senator David Vitter (R-LA) has been shopping around an amendment to overturn the opt-out. He is not being well received. Republicans should think again. Senator Vitter is right. And do allow all the Democrats to exempt themselves. The more of them defeated at the polls, the better.


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