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Fri Oct 18, 2013, 08:14 PM

Why is Congress exempt from ACA

is a question I keep being asked by republican friends. And I get so confused when trying to convey the truth.

Here's my take on it. Congress already has health insurance coverage paid for by the government; therefore, Congress isn't eligible for benefits under the ACA. Am I right or wrong? Could it possibly be that simple?

This is getting to be soooooo tedious.

48 replies, 3776 views

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Arrow 48 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why is Congress exempt from ACA (Original post)
FLyellowdog Oct 2013 OP
jberryhill Oct 2013 #1
FLyellowdog Oct 2013 #2
jberryhill Oct 2013 #3
FLyellowdog Oct 2013 #4
Arneoker Oct 2013 #5
FLyellowdog Oct 2013 #9
Hoyt Oct 2013 #6
procon Oct 2013 #7
FLyellowdog Oct 2013 #8
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #10
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #11
FLyellowdog Oct 2013 #12
JayhawkSD Oct 2013 #13
FLyellowdog Oct 2013 #14
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #16
JayhawkSD Oct 2013 #17
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #21
JayhawkSD Oct 2013 #35
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #37
JayhawkSD Oct 2013 #43
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #44
JayhawkSD Oct 2013 #45
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #48
FLyellowdog Oct 2013 #46
SunSeeker Oct 2013 #15
Drahthaardogs Oct 2013 #18
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #22
FLyellowdog Oct 2013 #25
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #33
Drahthaardogs Oct 2013 #29
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #30
Drahthaardogs Oct 2013 #39
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #40
Drahthaardogs Oct 2013 #41
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #42
Dark n Stormy Knight Oct 2013 #34
FLyellowdog Oct 2013 #19
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #23
apnu Oct 2013 #36
Hippo_Tron Oct 2013 #20
Arneoker Oct 2013 #24
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #31
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #38
valerief Oct 2013 #26
elleng Oct 2013 #27
Agnosticsherbet Oct 2013 #28
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2013 #32
Name removed Oct 2013 #47

Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2013, 08:19 PM

1. That and the 27th Amendment

However *all* health insurance is subject to the ACA requirements.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 18, 2013, 08:24 PM

2. The 27th is what they are talking about.

That Congress is exempt which goes against the 27th. I just don't understand what they are supposedly exempted from. They already have insurance

Sorry to be so dense.

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Response to FLyellowdog (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 18, 2013, 08:27 PM

3. Changing their insurance would be a change in compensation

You are arguing with people who are not going to agree.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #3)

Fri Oct 18, 2013, 08:32 PM

4. True...and one is a beloved relative.

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2013, 08:41 PM

5. They had government sponsored health insurance before ACA, the same as all Federal Employees.

And basically the same as anyone else with employer sponsored insurance. But during the Congressional deliberations over ACA Senator Grassley decided to grandstand, and dare the Democrats to force Congress and staffers to go on the exchanges, meant for those without employer sponsored insurance. The Democrats took the bait, but the understanding was that the government would still provide subsidies equivalent to what the government was chipping in to buy their employees health insurance, to buy insurance on the exchanges. But now the hypocritical jerk Tea Taxers are screaming that's "special treatment." What they are really demanding is that Congress and staffers need a cut in their health benefits (against the 27th Amendment, until after the next election, if you are talking about Congress). Now that would be fine for the many super rich who are in Congress, but for those staffers and Congresspeople who earn little outside of their salaries, we are talking about a pretty substantial cut in benefits.

Ask your Republican friends with employer sponsored health insurance to give it up, as "that would be only fair."

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Response to Arneoker (Reply #5)

Fri Oct 18, 2013, 10:05 PM

9. Thanks. I think I'm getting the hang of it. *sigh*

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2013, 08:43 PM

6. Tell em Republicans did not want to be covered by ACA, and Obama caved.

They are going to gripe even if they sign up themselves.

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2013, 08:50 PM

7. Exactly!

This is such a simple concept; The ACA was designed for people who can't get insurance, not for those who are already covered.

My Teabag relatives view the ACA as some sort of onerous punishment right up there with Dante's Inferno. They want their revenge on Congress for passing it into law and think that by forcing them to "suffer" in the fire's of hell that await in Obamacare's <shiver> Death Panels, that will surely make them repeal it. There's no reasoning and no facts that will change their FauxNews generated world view.

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Response to procon (Reply #7)

Fri Oct 18, 2013, 10:04 PM

8. I agree.nt

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2013, 10:22 PM

11. OP: Please see my post #10. It is absolutely NOT true that the President, Congress is exempt!!

It is a lie that the Republicans continue to repeat and the media is complicit in propagating.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #11)

Fri Oct 18, 2013, 11:54 PM

12. Yes, I know it's not true,

but I needed a simple way of trying to refute my R friends' insistance that it is. See #5 because that sort of simplifies what happened.

Thanks for the links....I'd already posted all of them on FB for my relative to read but to no avail. I think it's a lost cause.

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Sat Oct 19, 2013, 01:13 AM

13. Congress is exempt only to the same degree that I am exempt.

I am exempt from penalty because I have health insurance provided by an employer. My wife's employer in my case, which is irrelevant.

Congress is exempt because they have insurance provided by their employer. They receive wages from the United States, and have insurance provided by that same United States as a provision of their employment.

There is nothing sneaky or extralegal about it, and it is not a form of favoritism, any more than it is for my wife's employer to offer her insurance as a provision of her employment.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 19, 2013, 01:29 AM

14. Thanks. nt

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 19, 2013, 08:31 AM

16. CONGRESS IS NOT EXEMPT!! This is a lie that Republicans keep repeating!!!!!

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #16)

Sat Oct 19, 2013, 10:33 AM

17. Don't shout at me.

I didn't sat they were exempt from the law.
I said that they were exempt from penalty because they have insurance.
Read what people say before you scream at them that they are wrong.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #17)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 07:03 PM

21. Not shouting at you. I'm trying to make this point clear because people keep repeating the falsehood

We should know this. This is DU and we should be more responsible than this.

I read what you wrote and you were STILL wrong!

Congress, the president are NOT exempt from ACA (Obamacare); they must participate in the healthcare exchanges like everyone else. What pissed me off is claiming that Obama caved. Obama DID NOT cave! You need to read and understand what the law says and stop listening to lies.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #21)

Mon Oct 21, 2013, 01:14 AM

35. Read what I said and try to understand English.

I said "Congress is exempt to the same extent that I am exempt." Since I do not claim to be exempt from the ACA, then I am not claiming that Congress is exempt from the ACA.

I said that "Congress is exempt from penalty because they are covered by employer-provided insurance," just as I am exempt from penalty because I am covered by employer-provided insurance. What part of that is wrong? Are they not covered by employer-provided insurance? Are they subject to some sort of penalty even though they are covered by employer-provided insurance?

Where did I say that "Obama caved?" In point of fact, I never said that, never hinted at it, never implied it, and never said anything close to it.

Why does someone have to "participate in the healthcare exchanges" when they are covered by insurance provided by their employer? As a point of fact, if someone is eligible for employer-provided insurance, not only does he not have to "participate in the healthcare exchanges," he is not permitted by the ACA regulations to do so.

Maybe you need to read and understand what the law says and quit acting on knee jerk reflex every time someone uses a word that you don't like because you didn't bother to read the context in which the word was used.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #35)

Mon Oct 21, 2013, 01:05 PM

37. No!! They are not covered by employer-provided insurance unless by employer-based,

you mean the American taxpayer. If that's what you mean, then you would be right. They get more subsidies from taxpayers to pay for their insurance. Some of them opt out and pay for their insurance privately because they don't think it's fair that American taxpayers foot the bill for their health insurance. (I was just listening to Sherrod Brown on Ed Schultz explain this.) Let me repeat, as it stands right now, the president and his agency heads, members of Congress, and Supreme Court justices who do not pay for their health care coverage through private insurers receive health care coverage through federal subsidies provided by the American taxpayer at about 75% of the cost.

Read this:

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/health-care-for-members-of-congress/

Though all of us, as federal employees, receive a good amount of subsidy that covers up to 75% of our health care premiums, according to Fact Check, members of Congress (not their families) are eligible for additional subsidies not guaranteed to other federal employees. After it is all said and done, they could end up paying close to nothing to health care.

You are correct in that you DO have employer-based health care insurance. Unlike the president, members of Congress, you do not currently receive taxpayer-based subsidies to assist with your health care premiums.

You are also correct in that I too have employer-based health care insurance. My employer is the United Stated Federal Government; however, unlike the president, members of Congress, SCOTUS, regular federal employees/civil servants do not have nearly all of their health care coverage subsidized. While we do receive some federal subsidies, we contribute towards the payment of our premiums through our biweekly paychecks. This is different from members of Congress who receive additional subsidies to cover nearly all of their health care costs.

That ends under the new ACA law. Under the ACA, they will be required to contribute much more than they currently do to cover the cost of their healthcare.

So, you're STILL wrong. And you're STILL rude. And you STILL think you can get to me by being rude and obnoxious. And guess what? You can be as rude and as obnoxious and as condescending as you want to be and you'd still be WRONG!!

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #37)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 01:16 AM

43. From NPR discussion

Members of Congress have basically choice of the same plans that the other 9 million federal workers have. This year, they can choose from 16 different plans. The most popular by far - I assume among members of Congress, but certainly among federal workers in Washington, D.C. - is the Blue Cross Blue Shield standard-option plan. This year, the premiums are $1,120.47 a month for a family. Of that, the government pays $763.88, and the member of Congress would pay $356.59 a month.


See here. This is employer-provided insurance, the employer being the federal government. Having access to this insurance means that members of Congress not only do not "have to participate in the health care exchanges," but that that are not eligible to do so.

Members of Congress do have, an additional benefit, namely access to the attending physician of Congress;

that's a doctor who is there in the Capitol. They pay a couple of hundred dollars a year and have access to some preventive care. They get their flu shots there. And if there's an emergency, they tend to go to the doctor there on the Capitol for some of their preventive stuff.


To the best of my knowledge, neither eligibility of members of Congress to the federal health insurance program, nor to the attending physician of Congress is ended by the ACA. Perhaps you could correct me on that, but I will not accept a blank statement, I want a paragraph number and clause in the ACA, because I have read too many statements to the contrary, including one from my own representative The Honorable Susan Davis, Democrat CA-53

If pointing out facts when you prefer to argue pointlessly that I am wrong merely to make some sort of abstruse point about the use of the word "exempt" is rude, then yes, I am rude. You meanwhile, are wrong to insist that members of Congress "get free health insurance," which they do not. Perhaps you think that members of Congress should perform their duties without being paid, or that insurance companies should violate the law by offering group coverage without the group paying a portion of the premium.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #43)

Tue Oct 22, 2013, 10:16 AM

44. This is no different than what I've been arguing. Yes, they get subsidies from the govern

ment like we do to pay for their insurance...

BUT, they receive ADDITIONAL subsidies that we do not get to pay for services not available to other federal employees.

If they are getting 75% of their coverage subsidized by the federal government, same as I, but on top of that are receiving ADDITIONAL subsidizes, they are basicially having the majority of their coverage subsidized by the federal government.

Now, the question is: Do the majority of the members of Congress currently take advantage of these additional subsidies? Some do, some don't. People like Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders do not. During Sherrod Brown's interview with Ed Schultz, he emphatically stated that he does not take advantage of the subsidies available; instead, he opts out of the program and provides for his health insurance independent of the government. Ted Cruz opts out entirely as well, having his insurance completely paid for by a private insurance company through his wife's employer Goldman Sachs rather through Federal Employees Health Benefits program.

As a federal employee, I have that choice, too. I do not have to participate in the FEHB. I can opt out completely and choose to have my cover myself by other means. I, however, do not make that much money and I like the program. I think it's a good program for federal employees, which in my view, is somewhat a public option that I believe ALL Americans should have access to.

My guess is that members of Congress are now being required to go through the ACA as a matter of fairness--because despite the fact that they have high salaries, they also were receiving subsidies--through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. If they participate in the ACA, they would no longer qualify for those additional subsidies that they were receiving. They'd go through the exchanges and pay for health care based on their salaries but wouldn't qualify for any subsidies. That's fair and makes sense.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #44)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:17 AM

45. From Healthcare.gov

You won't be able to get lower costs if your job-based coverage is considered affordable and meets minimum value.


I seriously doubt that $356/mth is considered "unaffordable" for a member of Congress, or that the coverage offered by the government plan does not meet minimum value.

"They receive ADDITIONAL subsidies that we do not get to pay for services not available to other federal employees."

According to NPR's "health policy correspondent" which I cited in my earlier post members of Congress pay the same percentage for their coverage that all federal employees do. Other than access to the attending physician of Congress, no extra subsidies were mentioned, so what are the additional subsidies to which you refer?

You are making a generalized statement about these so-called "subsidies" with no details or documentation. I have repeatedly provided detailed quotes, citations and references, while you have provided nothing but vague accusations. What is your source for this information? What is the nature of the subsidies? What is the percentage of the insurance they they cover? What is the nominal reason or basis for the subsidies?

Your "guess" is that "members of Congress are now being required to go through the ACA as a matter of fairness," but you cannot cite actual law or regulation. Persons who have employer-provided health insurance are not required to "go through the ACA" and you admit that members of Congress have employer-provided health insurance, so why would they be required to "go through the ACA exchanges" and why would it be "fairness" to require them to do so? It would, in fact be the opposite of fair, since the "health care exchanges" pay a portion of the premiums, which you object to as a matter of principle for members of Congress.

What is your fascination with making people "go through the exchanges" anyway? The exchanges were created specifically to help people who could not obtain insurance either because of pre-existing conditions or because they do not have access to employer-provided health insurance plans. Even the state exchanges are heavily burdened with high traffic levels, so why add to the burden by making people use them who do have access to employer-provided plans and don't need the exchanges?

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #45)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 12:36 PM

48. My responses after yours...

I seriously doubt that $356/mth is considered "unaffordable" for a member of Congress, or that the coverage offered by the government plan does not meet minimum value.

-- Where did I make a contradictory claim?

According to NPR's "health policy correspondent" which I cited in my earlier post members of Congress pay the same percentage for their coverage that all federal employees do. Other than access to the attending physician of Congress, no extra subsidies were mentioned, so what are the additional subsidies to which you refer?

-- I agreed that members of Congress and federal employees' health insurance premiums are covered at up to 75%. That is not in dispute.

Your "guess" is that "members of Congress are now being required to go through the ACA as a matter of fairness," but you cannot cite actual law or regulation. Persons who have employer-provided health insurance are not required to "go through the ACA" and you admit that members of Congress have employer-provided health insurance, so why would they be required to "go through the ACA exchanges" and why would it be "fairness" to require them to do so? It would, in fact be the opposite of fair, since the "health care exchanges" pay a portion of the premiums, which you object to as a matter of principle for members of Congress.

-- Members of Congress are NOT exempt.

Here is the specific rule that I posted upthread days ago:

http://www.opm.gov/news/releases/2013/08/opm-issues-proposed-rule-which-details-how-members-of-congress-and-congressional-staff-will-be-insured-through-the-health-insurance-exchanges/

What is your fascination with making people "go through the exchanges" anyway? The exchanges were created specifically to help people who could not obtain insurance either because of pre-existing conditions or because they do not have access to employer-provided health insurance plans. Even the state exchanges are heavily burdened with high traffic levels, so why add to the burden by making people use them who do have access to employer-provided plans and don't need the exchanges?

-- I don't have a "fascination" about the exchanges. I didn't write the legislation. I didn't pass it. And I didn't sign legislation into law. I'm discussing what the ACA law requires. And the ACA requires that members of Congress participate in the exchanges starting January 1, 2014. That is not a requirement for other federal employees. In fact, many of us do not have to do anything. I like my insurance as it is now via the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, so I'm sticking with that.

-- And here's the actual reference to Section 1312 that, again, I mentioned upthread:

Congressional employees, like other federal workers, currently participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefit plan (FEHB). The health care law requires Congressional employees, beginning January 1, to instead obtain their coverage through health insurance exchanges (1312(d)(3)(D)). The plain reading of this provision and accompanying law requires them to pay full price for their health care and to relinquish their government subsidies that pick up, on average, 72 percent of the cost of their insurance.

But the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a rule in early August that allows Congressional workers to keep their government subsidies while in the exchanges.


-- Notice the last line of that sentence: In addition to participation in the exchanges, members of Congress can also KEEP their subsidies. I'm speculating that this is because congressional staff do not receive high salaries and would therefore not qualify for ACA subsidies to help pay the residual premiums.

Again, here's the rule: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2013-19222.pdf

Look, I don't have time to continue to argue back and forth with you. Based on your tone, you seem to have a dislike of the ACA's health exchanges. Most people in this thread have stated repeatedly that members of Congress will not be exempt from the ACA. That is a fact. And yet, you lecture me about facts. Sure, I may have not articulated my statements well from time to time, but fact is fact. Members of Congress are not exempt from the exchanges.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #35)

Wed Oct 23, 2013, 02:41 AM

46. But Congress is required to go thru ACA now.

"Why does someone have to "participate in the healthcare exchanges" when they are covered by insurance provided by their employer? As a point of fact, if someone is eligible for employer-provided insurance, not only does he not have to "participate in the healthcare exchanges," he is not permitted by the ACA regulations to do so."

During the Congressional deliberations over ACA Senator Grassley decided to grandstand, and dare the Democrats to force Congress and staffers to go on the exchanges, meant for those without employer sponsored insurance. The Democrats took the bait, but the understanding was that the government would still provide subsidies equivalent to what the government was chipping in to buy their employees health insurance, to buy insurance on the exchanges.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/30/john-boehners-plan-c-hurts-congress-hurts-taxpayers-fixes-nothing/

<In January 2014, lawmakers and some of their staff will be required under the health care law to pick from plans in the health care law’s new marketplaces. They are the only Americans facing this requirement, although Uncle Sam will still continue to pick up most of the cost.>
http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2013/oct/21/sean-duffy/obamacare-congress-must-buy-insurance-marketplaces/

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Sat Oct 19, 2013, 03:04 AM

15. Congress is not exempt. They have to buy from the exchanges.

And like any employed person, their employer (the U. S. Government) helps them pay for it.

In fact, Congress is even more tied to the ACA because, unlike other employees whose employer pays for their insurance, they must buy that insurance on the ACA marketplace.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #15)

Sat Oct 19, 2013, 10:41 AM

18. THIS!

Starting January 1 ALL Congressmen must get their insurance on the exchanges. They will still get their government contribution.

And while we are at it

1) Congressmen do NOT get a salary for life. Like any other federal employee, they get small pension based upon high three year salary and years of service. You need to meet the minimum years of service and age to draw a pension.

2) They do NOT have a special insurance plan. They have the same choices as all other Feds.

3) They DO pay into Social Security.

Finally, making Congress go to the exchanges was wrong. ACA is for people who do NOT HAVE EMPLOYEE SPONSORED HEALTH CARE PLANS. That was the POINT of the law.

To that end, I expect all Feds forced onto them in the next few years. The Democrats will see it as a move towards single payer, and the Republicans will think they are fucking government employees.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #18)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 07:08 PM

22. The reason why they should go through the exchanges is because they originally had their health

insurance subsidized by taxpayers. ALL OF IT! Not like the rest of federal employees like myself, who contribute a portion of their salary towards health care insurance. In fact, not like most employees who contribute a portion of their salary for health care insurance. Congress, the president, SCOTUS had the luxury of having their entire coverage subsidized by taxpayers. Many don't think that is right or fair. Now, they are required to contribute to their own health care coverage, and the exchanges is a way to make them do just that.

If I'm understanding correctly, they can opt out and pay for their insurance privately. For instance, Ted Cruz himself has private insurance through Goldman Sachs; in fact, he and his family are well taken care of with their gold-plated health care package. There are other members of Congress who also go through private insurance rather than accept the subsidy.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #22)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 10:00 PM

25. My husband was a federal employee and we paid LOTS for our health coverage.

http://www.aarp.org/work/employee-benefits/info-12-2010/benefits_what_does_congress_really_get.2.html

"How their health care plan works

Members of Congress participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program along with about 8 million federal workers, retirees and their dependents. They are subject to the same rules and receive the same coverage. Compared with health plans offered by private employers, the FEHBP offers more choices — in fact, "the widest selection of health plans in the country," according to the Office of Personnel Management.

Congress members are also eligible for Medicare, and pay the same 1.45 percent tax on their salary as do other workers.

A few extras

Congress members do receive some medical benefits beyond those available to regular federal workers.

For an annual payment of $503, members can receive routine care from the Office of the Attending Physician, which has facilities in the Capitol. ABC News reported last year that these services include physicals and other examinations, on-site X-rays and lab work, physical therapy and referrals to medical specialists.

In addition, current members (but not their dependents) can receive medical and emergency dental care at military hospitals and clinics. Inpatient care is covered by FEHBP insurance, but outpatient care is free if it's performed at facilities in the national capital region, such as Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland or Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District of Columbia.

This benefit is likely the source of persistent online rumors that all medical care is free for Congress members."

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Response to FLyellowdog (Reply #25)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 10:47 PM

33. Yes, yes!! That's right! That's what I've been trying to explain, but perhaps not as clearly as you

have here. But there are some in this thread who have rudely approached me who FALSELY claim that I know none of what I speak, though I have been a federal employee now for nearly 20 years! Members of Congress, the president have pretty much always received additional perks beyond what other civil servants receive.

I don't care what anyone on this thread says. I don't care how rude they are to me. I don't care what names they call me or how much they attack me. I know what I'm talking about.

Congress, the president, and members of the United States Supreme Court ARE NOT exempt from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. They must participate in the healthcare exchanges. Period. End of story.

Now, admittedly, there have been attempts to do away with that requirement: The Vitter Amendment, Grassley Amendment, and other alterations and other rules to make the law clearer. There have also been attempts to exempt congressional staff, since many would not qualify for some of the subsidies offered under Obamacare, since they make too much. That is understandable. Even I sympathize with their plight.

However, I will maintain the stance that I have taken and will not back down no matter how much I am attacked in this thread.

I appreciate those who have approached this conversation respectfully and without being combative and condescending, and I thank those people and I thank you.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #22)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 10:26 PM

29. you do not know what the hell you are talking about

STOP making shit up

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #29)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 10:36 PM

30. Making shit up? I fucking work for the federal government. I know what the hell I'm talking about.

Where's your fucking links. When you know what the fuck you're talking about, come for me. Until that mystical, magical day, go somewhere else with your rudeness and bullshit.

IGNORE!!!

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #30)

Mon Oct 21, 2013, 06:33 PM

39. You know nothing...

http://jeffduncan.house.gov/legislative-work/fact-or-fiction/fact-or-fiction-do-members-congress-get-free-health-care


Congress pays their health insurance premiums just like everyone else. Taking the employer matched amount hurts hard working staffers. If I am rude, it is because I DO KNOW what the fuck I am talking about. Quit spreading lies.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #39)

Mon Oct 21, 2013, 08:37 PM

40. They receive subsidies to pay for their healthcare, just like I do as a federal employee.

And they receive extra subsidies on top of that.

You don't receive subsidies unless you're a federal or state employee. You DON'T FUCKING know what you're talking about.

Welcome to IGNORE.

Talk to yourself.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #40)

Mon Oct 21, 2013, 08:41 PM

41. Bullshit. You said it was ALL paid for by the taxpayer.

I called you on it because it is wrong. They have the same as any other fed and YOU are hurting poor staffers by spreading untrue statements. People are being hurt.

You still cling to your lies so let me spell it out. CONGRESS AND STAFFERS DO NOT GET 100% FREE HEALTHCARE. THEY ARE ON THE SAME PLAN AS EVERY OTHER FED AND PAY PREMIUMS JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.

I am sick of Democrats perpetuating the race to the bottom. This is bull just like the anti-union crowd here.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #41)

Mon Oct 21, 2013, 08:42 PM

42. Subsidy = Federal government = taxpayer. Comprehende? IGNORE!!!

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #18)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 11:03 PM

34. Thank you. There was that dumb RW email about how we have to stop Congress

from all sorts of things that they do not, in fact, even get. Even some DUers were posting and defending those lies.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #15)

Sat Oct 19, 2013, 03:28 PM

19. FINALLY, I think you've helped me.

So...my OP was not correct. Congress IS participating in ACA (due to Grassley), but they get their insurance partially paid for just like they always have (due to DEMs).

By placing Congress/staffers in ACA it can be assumed that they would have to follow the regulations set up by ACA which means they probably wouldn't qualifiy for subsidies due to their salary level. HOWEVER, making them abide by that requirement would cut their government benefits by huge amounts and theoretically cause them undue hardship. No one else in the country is being forced to give up their employment benefits and so this is an unfair burden on Congress/staffers. Therefore, the government established that in this incidence, Congress/staffers would not be subject to the salary requirement. While this may look like "special treatment" and/or exemption, it is in reality the righting of a wrong. A mistake that was created because Republicans and Democrats had not participated in honest and good-faith discussions at the onset.

As I see it, it's a wash. Grassley was irresponsible to put the "poison pill" in the bill in the first place and the Dems were irresponsible to accept it even under their conditions.

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Response to FLyellowdog (Reply #19)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 07:09 PM

23. Yes, you are right. Congressional staff are being unfairly treated. They can go through the exchange

but they make too much to qualify for the subsidy, so that's what needs to be fixed. Yes, you are right.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 21, 2013, 01:01 PM

36. THIS^2!!!!

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 02:47 PM

20. They aren't exempt!!!

Congress, like the rest of the federal government, had an employer sponsored health plan. Because of the Grassley amendment, they now have to go to the exchanges like everyone who doesn't have an employer sponsored plan, but they get a subsidy.

The subsidy part of the compensation package for congressional staffers who on the lower end make an absurdly low base salary for the DC metro area. They could just re-write the law to raise their salaries the amount of the subsidy and then they would literally be treated the same as everyone who doesn't work for an employer with insurance, except that tea baggers would get pissed that a low level congressional staff assistant makes more than a whopping 30k a year.

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 08:08 PM

24. Hey LS, like you I get FEHB (in my case because I am a federal retiree)

And like you I pay for a good chunk of it, although we both get the benefit of the government paying for the rest (as do others with employer sponsored insurance). But are you sure that the Congress and their staff had ALL of it paid by the Government? I always thought they got the same deal as peons like you and me. Not that the super rich in Congress and those like Cruz who have a great future giving high priced speeches, writing books and such, who can afford to grandstand are in the same boat as we are.

I got a laugh in the break room in the government contractor offices where I work when I said that our company should be going to Capitol Hill to recruit. Seriously, I'll bet there are a bunch of pissed off staffers who would love to jump ship.

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Response to Arneoker (Reply #24)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 10:37 PM

31. You are exactly correct. And those people in this thread who are attacking me need to get their shit

right! They don't know what the hell they're talking about!!

Thank you!

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Response to Arneoker (Reply #24)

Mon Oct 21, 2013, 01:14 PM

38. I forgot to answer your question, but yes, I'm almost 100% sure that most

if not all of their insurance premiums are subsidized. I was just listening to Sherrod Brown discussed this on Ed Schultz's radio show. He said that it wasn't fair that his health care is being subsidized by the American people. I think they pay a portion of their salary to cover their spouse and children, but I'm almost 100% that their individual premiums are fully covered.

Read this:

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/health-care-for-members-of-congress/

Though all of us, as federal employees, receive a good amount of subsidy that covers up to 75% of our health care premiums, according to Fact Check, members of Congress (not their families) are eligible for additional subsidies not guaranteed to other federal employees. After it is all said and done, they could end up paying close to nothing to health care.

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 10:01 PM

26. Congress exempts themselves from everything but lots of taxpayer-paid perks. nt

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 10:05 PM

27. Essentially correct,

but important to note their coverage isn't 'paid for by the government,' but they, like all Fed government employees, have an excellent variety of insurance options, and members and their staffs pay premiums, and government pays a PORTION of their premiums, with every pay check.

So Congress is as 'exempt' as are others in the U.S. who already have insurance due to their employment.

It is that simple, but the simpletons, and others who don't want ACA to work, do their best to complicate it.

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 10:25 PM

28. 15 Myths The Media Should Ignore During Obamacare Implementation

15 Myths The Media Should Ignore During Obamacare Implementation


Go to this link to get this and other ACA myths debunked.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #28)

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 10:39 PM

32. Thank God for Media Matters. I posted this upthread, so thank you!

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Response to FLyellowdog (Original post)

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