The PJ Tatler

Older Hill Aides Get Obamacare Sticker Shock

These staffers worked to get Obamacare passed, believing that it would not effect them. So now, they deserve just two words in reply to this news: Ha Ha.

Veteran House Democratic aides are sick over the insurance prices they’ll pay under Obamacare, and they’re scrambling to find a cure.

“In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before,” Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. “Simply unacceptable.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, and federal regulations, many congressional staffers — designated as “official” aides — were forced to move out of the old heavily subsidized Federal Employees Health Benefits program and into the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace exchange. Others designated as “unofficial” were allowed to stay in the FEHB program. Managers had to choose whether aides were “official” or “unofficial” by Oct. 31, and Ta said that wasn’t enough time to make an informed decision about who would benefit and who would lose out by going into the new system.

Moore’s office was one of those in which all staff were designated as “official” and pushed into the exchanges. That ended up being a problem for older staff, who weren’t accustomed to paying higher premiums because of their age.

But age is one of the few factors insurers can use to adjust prices under Obamacare — and older people will often pay much more than younger people.

These people deserve no sympathy from anyone.

Obamacare itself is unacceptable. Maybe 100 million Americans will lose their healthcare next year once the employer mandate kicks in. Maybe more. If your healthcare has changed at all since March 2010, and most people’s have, you’re probably going to lose your coverage. If you don’t have maternity care in your plan, even if you’re 63, you’re probably going to lose your coverage. The majority of the country never supported Obamacare and wants it gone now. The only cure is to repeal it.

Harry Reid nuked the Senate filibuster yesterday. Let’s see a clear and binding vote in that chamber — up or down — on repeal.