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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
HomeNewsPoliticsBoom! President Trump Threatens to End ObamaCare Exemption for Congress

Boom! President Trump Threatens to End ObamaCare Exemption for Congress

President Donald Trump, center, gestures during a meeting with House and Senate Leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. With Trump are from left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas. (Photo: AP)
President Donald Trump, center, gestures during a meeting with House and Senate Leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. With Trump are from left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas. (Photo: AP)

President Donald Trump, center, gestures during a meeting with House and Senate Leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. With Trump are from left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas. (Photo: AP)

President Donald J. Trump threatened to end a rule that effectively gave an ObamaCare exemption to members of Congress if reform doesn’t pass the U.S. Senate.

“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” he tweeted.

In 2009, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Ia., inserted a provision into the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, which required members of Congress and their staffs to purchase insurance through the same exchanges. While it was watered down to exclude committee staff, it still pertained to members of Congress and their personal staffs.

If it was allowed to stand, the taxpayer-funded federal health insurance subsidies available to members of Congress and their personal staffs–which now range from $6,000 to $12,000 a year and cover roughly 70% of their premiums–would have come to an end.

But Barack Obama personally ordered the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to interpret the law in such a manner that it ensured the taxpayer-funded benefits remained, effectively overturning the provision introduced by Sen. Grassley. Initially, OPM, which oversees federal employment issues, didn’t want to go along.

In the end, OPM accepted Mr. Obama’s interpretation, relieving Congress of the difficult task of voting to exempt themselves from ObamaCare.

Former Sen. David Vitter, R-La., attempted to push legislation that would’ve overturned the end-round exemption. But Democratic senators began to draft legislation that would’ve denied federal health subsidies to any lawmaker who voted for the Vitter Bill, even if it didn’t become law.

Unsurprisingly, the Vitter Bill was tabled and died.

Earlier in the week, Senate Republicans rejected a conservative amendment for a “straight repeal” of ObamaCare with a 2-year window to replace the failing law, breaking a 7-year promise to voters.

Seven Republicans–including Shelley Moore Capito, W.Va., Susan Collins, Me., Dean Heller, Nev., John McCain, R-Ariz., Rob Portman, Ohio, Lamar Alexander, Ala., and Lisa Murkowski, Alaska–joined Democrats to make the vote 55 to 45.

All but Sen. Collins of Maine voted “Yes” on an almost identical bill in 2015, when Republicans voted 52-47 to repeal ObamaCare because they knew it would be vetoed by Barack Obama. Now that Republicans have the chance to cast a meaningful vote with a president willing to sign it, they caved.

Earlier Friday morning, in the dead of the night, they rejected an amendment for a “skinny repeal” of ObamaCare that would’ve done away with the individual and employer mandates, as well as the medical device tax. The final vote was 51 to 49.

Sens. McCain, Murkowski and Collins tanked the bill.

The President’s tweets were welcomed among Republican voters, who were furious with the betrayal. Recent data from the People’s Pundit Daily Big Data Poll (PPD Poll) indicate 30% of Republican voters would seriously consider sitting out 2018 if Republicans didn’t keep their promise to repeal ObamaCare.

Meanwhile, polling conducted for Independent Women’s Voice found 94% of likely voters think Congress shouldn’t be exempted from ObamaCare. However, most voters blame both parties equally for the carve out, leaving Republicans just as politically vulnerable as Democrats on the issue.

Written by
Staff Writing Group

People's Pundit Daily delivers reader-funded data journalism covering the latest news in politics, polls, elections, business, the economy and markets.

Latest comments

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    Dear Donald Trump, don’t stop there! Level the playing field; either extend the existing ObamaCare waivers to everyone, or eliminate them all together!

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    This would be a great rule to rescind. Equal protection under the law. I’m tired of the two tier system of justice.

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    President Trump should make the change Sunday 7/30/17 just before McCain goes into surgery. When McCain complains, Trump can say “welcome to the world you created”.

    • Avatar

      Love your suggestion

  • Avatar

    Reward Congress!! Remove their exemption from Obamacare. Give them the same “benefits” they have imposed on their constituents.

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    President Donald make these elites in Congress suffer like the rest of us, take all their benefits away from them. Have the IRS audit each member of Congress and their staffs that voted no.

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    That which was bestowed via pen and phone ma, and should be retracted via the same method. Further, these Congress critters should be forced to purchase Obama(non)care in their home districts. If they are bombarded with double digits cost increases – so be it. If they are unable to purchase said insurance (not healthcare) and they must pay tax penalties because insurance providers have pulled out – tough potatoes. If their insurance is not accepted by real health providers – C’est la vis.

    Ya foisted this crap on us. You can live with it, too.

    For that matter, subject Congress to ALL of the laws that we must live under. Against guns? Go without ANY protection. Want To reduce fuel usage? YOU drive the Prius! (no more Limo’s, babe). Want to increase taxes on the rich? You ARE the rich, and should face the top tax rate – without deductions or writeoffs.

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