A LAW FOR YOU BUT NOT FOR ME
Tyranny comes in many forms but one sure sign of tyranny is when those elected to govern pass laws that impose tax burdens and limit freedom for all, except themselves. By this measure, Obamacare is an excellent example of tyranny.
The Administration is currently spending $684 million of our tax dollars on a massive, daily ad campaign to convince uninsured Americans to call Obamacare exchanges and buy health insurance at a cost of between about $5,000 per person and $11,000 per family per year.
While $684 million is being spent on this feverish, last minute attempt to convince the unwilling to fork over what is a veritable fortune for many in this troubled economy, the President is working in secret with House Speaker David Bohner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to ensure that members of Congress and their aides do not have to pay for their Obamacare insurance coverage.
Senator Chuck Grassley put into the misnamed Affordable Care Act a provision that required lawmakers and their aides to purchase their health insurance from the exchanges, just like all other uninsured people subject to the individual mandate. With just a few months to go before that provision of the law comes into effect, congressional staffers are threatening to ditch Congress and enter the private sector unless they are relieved of the obligation to pay for Obamacare. Indeed, lawmakers and their aides are objecting vigorously to the law’s impact on their earnings. Congress is joining a chorus from federal and non-federal workers’ unions in demanding relief from the same individual mandate that they expect all other working Americans to abide by.
Congressional aides are complaining that the cost of insurance premiums is too expensive for them and that they will have to leave Congress for more lucrative private sector jobs if something is not done immediately to exempt them from Obamacare’s mandate. They say they want insurance coverage, but they do not want to pay for it like the rest of Americans.
At first, Obama, Bohner and Reid thought they might amend the Affordable Care Act to exempt members of Congress and their staffs, but they perceived that would provoke a political backlash, so they have tried to find a way of doing the deed without having to account for it. They came up with the idea of not exempting themselves from the rule but having the government pay for their Obamacare insurance and having a regulatory rule impose that requirement on the federal government rather than an act of Congress. That way they can say that Congress is not exempt from Obamacare and that Congress, like the private sector, is simply paying for the insurance as a means of retaining qualified help on the Hill.
Nonsense. Private employers pay out of their own revenues for insurance given to employees. Members of Congress and their staffs will be paying for themselves with our tax dollars (with other people’s money, namely yours and mine).
If Obamacare is so onerous that well paid members of Congress and their staffs cannot afford it, how on earth can the White House and Congress expect the typical American worker to pay for it? Members of Congress receive a salary of $174,000 per year with fringe benefits (generous retirement plans and taxpayer funded contributions to Social Security and Medicare) worth about another $110,000 per year. Staffers to members of Congress earn between a low of $32,000 per year to a high of about $150,000 per year. By contrast, the typical American worker who is expected to buy insurance through the exchanges earns on average about $50,000 per year.
Americans are beginning to realize just how burdensome Obamacare really is. They are coming to realize that it is unaffordable for them. They are coming to realize that it denies them freedom of choice.
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They are coming to realize that it imposes on the entire health care system structural reforms that reduce the quality of care, deny patients access to the professionals of their choice (despite promises to the contrary), pushes physicians into early retirement, forces employers to avoid full-time status for some workers and to avoid hiring others altogether, and draws into the HHS Obamacare data hub Americans’ most intimate, personal information, including their tax returns and medical records.
One thing the dreadful Obamacare decision of the Supreme Court did do for Americans is to make it the law that Americans do not have to buy health insurance to satisfy the mandate. Instead, they can pay a “tax” for the privilege of not buying the insurance. For the first year of the Obamacare mandate, 2014, that privilege will cost the typical American a little less than $100 in a tax. The figure rises thereafter. For the moment, however, if you are subject to the mandate, your best protest lies in refusing to buy the insurance and paying the tax instead.
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