Congress Exempted from ObamaCare?
Ben Domenech notes that, while the healthcare bill that now awaits President Obama’s signature explicitly states that Members of Congress and their staff are covered under its provisions, there seems to be a carveout for those who serve on committee or leadership staff.
It’s not uncommon for Congress to exempt itself from laws it passes. And, quite often, critics are right to point out this double standard. In this case, however, it seems more than a little strained.
Members of Congress, their personal staff, committee staff, and leadership staff are all, like most of us, covered by health insurance by their employer. It just so happens that their employer is we, the taxpayer. But that’s true of members of the Armed Forces, civil servants, the Executive Office of the President, federal judges, and so forth and so on. So, while I oppose the health insurance mandate in principle, these people would be exempt in the same way that my wife and I are currently exempt: Because our employers provide coverage.
Aside from the mandate, I’m not sure what parts of ObamaCare would impact Members and staff. Federal plans already cover people regardless of preexisting conditions; they have for as long as I can remember. Presumably, they’re not going to give up “free” government-provided insurance to go on the newly created Exchanges. Maybe they’d fall under the Cadillac Plan penalty?