On Wednesday, the Office of Personnel Management issued a ruling saying that U.S. lawmakers and their staffs would continue to receive a federal contribution toward the health insurance they will be purchasing in the exchanges under Obamacare. The ruling ensures that lawmakers and their staffs will receive the same health contributions as other federal workers under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
It also enables Congress to avoid any culpability for passing an exemption for its members and their staffs, because this exemption was a backdoor effort by an Executive Agency. Average Americans faced with slashed hours and reduced opportunities for full-time work as a result of Obamacare won’t receive an exemption from a 29 hour workweek, nor will they receive any other relief.
Congress is better than average Americans, and its staffers are “a tremendous intellectual resource” according to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi’s expenditures have raised eyebrows in the past, especially the $2.1 million in air travel paid for by the Department of Defense and the $101,000 for “in-flight services” including thousands of dollars in liquor purchases. Of course, the fact that Pelosi’s family joined her for 31 trips at $28,000 a pop should be of no concern, for she is a “tremendous intellectual resource” entitled to her prerogatives.
So it is that the Office of Personnel Management, tasked with overseeing human resources issues for federal employees, managed to legislate a waiver for Congress and its staffers so that Congress wouldn’t have to on its own. In the end, Congress managed to kick the can down the road for another day, with the individual mandate looming for millions of ordinary Americans, 30 million of whom will be uninsured even with Obamacare.
We can’t let the architects of this ill-conceived, poorly executed law go without those federal contributions, because it might lead to a brain-drain. Right.
Jay Batman is a graduate of the Texas Tech University School of Law, where he attained his J.D. in May 2013. He completed a B.A. in English with a minor in Political Science at the University of Montevallo in 2002. He is employed with Dustin Stockton Political Strategies, LLC, and presently resides in West Texas with his dog and co-author, Buddy Love