May 8, 2015

REPUBLICANS COMPLICIT IN OBAMACARE FRAUD?:  Brendan Bordelon at NRO has a great story documenting the complicity of 5 Senate Republicans in covering up a fraudulent application by Congress to D.C.’s Obamacare exchange.  The application stated that Congress had only 45 employees, and listed fake employee names.

The relevant language of the Affordable Care Act is found in section 1312(d)(3)(D) of the Act, which states:

(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE.—

(i) REQUIREMENT.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a

Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are—

(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or

(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

The language pretty clearly indicates that Members of Congress and their staff can “only” obtain health insurance that is created by the Act or offered on an ACA exchange.  However one slices it, this means that Congress and its staff cannot continue to obtain the rich FEHBP health insurance subsidies that it has historically enjoyed.  But of course, President Obama came to the “rescue” and, by executive fiat, decided Congress would continue to get the subsidies anyway.  The “solution” announced by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), was to allow Congress to obtain subsidized insurance on the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), which is open only to employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees– and Congress clearly has more.

Senate Small Business Committee Chair David Vitter has fought the congressional exemption for years, and he recently sought to subpoena the original copy of the application Congress made to the DC exchange, as it would reveal who in Congress was responsible for its fraudulent misrepresentations.  Vitter ran into a problem, however:  To issue the subpoena, he needed either the sign-off the the Small Business Committee ranking member, Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), or a majority of his own, Republican-dominated Committee.

Oddly, 5 Republicans on Vitter’s Committee (plus all Democrats)– Senators Rand Paul, Mike Enzi, James Risch, Kelly Ayotte and Deb Fischer–voted against issuance of the subpoena.

So why are Republicans passing up an opportunity to rectify an Obamacare amendment-by-executive-fiat?  Self-interest, of course.

Tar and feathers are too good for these unprincipled weasels.  I say bring back the Sicilian Bull.

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