Time for tar and feathers yet?

April 26, 2013

To see the Congress considering exempting itself from the burdens of a law it passed is just adding insult to the injuries imposed on us by the PPACA.

But that’s just what Politico reports.

Lawmakers, aides may get Obamacare exemption

Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.

Read the whole thing and you’ll see that members of Congress aren’t dummies. They can see the costs of PPACA as well as any business person can.

The difference is that the people in Congress weren’t smart enough to vote against PPACA when it came time to vote on it.

Ezra Klein at The Washington Post writes that the Politico article was inaccurate:

No, Congress isn’t trying to exempt itself from Obamacare

There’s a Politico story making the rounds that says that members of Congress are engaged in secret, sensitive negotiations to exempt themselves and their staffs from Obamacare.

Well, they were secret, anyway.

The story has blown up on Twitter. “Unbelievable,” tweets TPM’s Brian Beutler. “Flat out incredible,” says Politico’s Ben White. “Obamacare for thee, but not for me,” snarks Ben Domenech. “Two thumbs way, way down,” says Richard Roeper. (Okay, I made the last one up).

If this sounds unbelievable, it’s because it is. There’s no effort to “exempt” Congress from Obamacare. No matter how this shakes out, Congress will have to follow the law, just like everyone else does.

Based on conversations I’ve had with a number of the staffs involved in these talks, the actual issue here is far less interesting, and far less explosive, than an exemption. Rather, a Republican amendment meant to embarrass Democrats and a too-clever-by-half Democratic response has possibly created a problem in which the federal government can’t make its normal contribution to the insurance premiums of congressional staffers.

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