38 Lawmakers Challenge Obamacare’s Subsidies for Their Staffs
April 23, 2014 - 3:16 pm
Another legal challenge to Obamacare:
Thirty-eight Republican lawmakers are backing a lawsuit filed by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., challenging health insurance subsidies provided to lawmakers and their staffers who are required to obtain coverage under ObamaCare.
Johnson filed the lawsuit in January challenging a ruling by the Office of Personnel Management. The agency ruled that lawmakers and their staffs should continue to receive health care benefits covering about 75 percent of their premium costs after leaving the health insurance program for federal workers.
According to the lawsuit, the OPM ruling “does not treat members of Congress and their staffs like members’ constituents. Instead, it puts them in a better position by providing them with a continuing tax-free subsidy.”
On Tuesday, 38 Republicans filed an amicus brief accusing the Obama administration of attempting to “rewrite the Affordable Care Act.”
There are a couple of issues here, unequal treatment under the law, and whether the president can re-write laws once they are passed. To answer the latter, he can’t, but so far no court has stopped him so he has changed Obamacare 36 times or so. To answer the latter, Obamacare seems to be the only law that really matters to Democrats, and any means of propping it up is perfectly fine. Even though it’s likely to cost them the Senate this fall.
Johnson told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday that the subsidy gives members of Congress and their staff “special treatment” that ordinary Americans forced to purchase health insurance under the law are unable to obtain.
“It’s unfair, it’s unfair treatment,” Johnson said on “On the Record.” “It’s special treatment, and by the way the president has no legal authority to change the law the way it did, and that’s really at the heart of this lawsuit is the doctrine and separation of powers and the fact that this president has exceeded his legal authority.”
Johnson said some of his colleagues signed onto the brief despite receiving pushback from staff members who oppose the removal of the subsidy.
Supporters of the suit include: Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Tex.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; Mark Kirk, R-Ill.; and Tim Scott, R-S.C. and Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; David Jolly, R-Fla.; Thomas Massie, R-Ky.; and Matt Salmon, R-Ariz.