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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Sen. Kaine Lied To Me About His Own Personal Obamacare Bailout

John Decker
by Jon Decker: Recently Anthem, Virginia’s largest health insurer, reversed course and decided to stay in the individual market. But that hardly solved the state’s Obamacare crisis, because they are back in with massive 42 to 64 percent premium hikes for next year.

But while Virginia residents on Obamacare, including myself, are set to be crushed by rising insurance costs, a small subset of residents will be shielded from this financial pain — politicians such as Senator Tim Kaine.

Yet shockingly, even though United States Senators and Representatives are afforded an annual bailout from Obamacare worth about $12,000 per year, our Senator Tim Kaine thinks Virginia taxpayers are too dumb to notice.

I recently wrote to Senator Kaine urging him to end Congress’s Obamacare bailout, and here is his startlingly dishonest reply:

“There is a misconception that Members of Congress have sought to exempt themselves from the ACA. Section 1312 of the ACA requires Members of Congress and their official staff to participate in the health insurance exchanges created by the ACA. In fact, the law says that plans on the exchanges are the only plans that Members and official Congressional staff can purchase.

An Office of Personnel Management official has said, “Members of Congress will not receive anything that is not available to the public. The law doesn’t allow them to get insurance from FEHB (Federal Employee Health Benefits Program), they are going to get insurance on the market place, just like uninsured individuals and small businesses.”

Misconception? Here are the facts, you can decide for yourself:
  • Section 1312(d)(3)(D) of Obamacare terminated employer coverage for members of Congress and requires them and their staff receive health insurance from Obamacare exchanges. It authorizes no employer contribution; in fact on March 24, 2010, the Senate rejected an amendment that would have authorized an employer contribution.
  • Upon realizing that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act wasn’t so ‘affordable’, members of Congress panicked at the prospect of losing their employer coverage, but feared the political consequences of voting to change the law they had passed. They turned to President Obama to bail them out.
  • President Obama obliged by directing the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to issue a rule that — without any legal authorization — restored employer contributions for Congress and their staff, a bailout from Obamacare worth about $12,000 per year.
  • Because IRS rules prohibit employer contributions toward individual health insurance policies, OPM directed Congress to sign up on the DC Small Business Health Exchange.
  • To implement the scheme, Congress filed two documents, one for the House and one for the Senate, certifying under penalty of perjury that they have less than 50 employees. (Earlier reports of individual congressional offices filing as small employers were erroneous; the House has just one EIN and one payroll, and the Senate another.) Then they signed up thousands of people. No other large employer in America would dare attempt falsely certifying itself as a small business.
But according to Senator Kaine, I should take the word of an Obama OPM official that this Obama OPM scheme is above board.

Shame on Senator Kaine for believing Virginia residents are incapable of seeing through this ridiculous claim. It’s bad enough that Senator Kaine is personally enjoying taxpayer-funded health care when the law says he should be paying his own premiums. His bald-faced denial makes it so much worse.
-------------------
Jon Decker is the membership director of American Commitment, a free-market policy and outreach organization.

Tags: American Commitment, John Decker, Sen. Tim Kaine, personal Obamacare bailout To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 9:45 AM - Post Link

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