Congressman Tom Graves In Opposition To Lawmakers and Aides Seeking Obamacare Exemption

I’m sure you’ve heard today that lawmakers and aides are seeking an exemption to the Obamacare mandates.  Well, Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-14) is opposed to that, and I’m sure other members of the Georgia delegation will be voicing their opposition to it:

U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued the following statement after Politico reported today that members of Congress are seeking to exempt themselves and congressional staff from Obamacare:

“I will oppose any effort to give Congress a special exemption from Obamacare. Congress put this train wreck in motion, and we should be hit by the train along with the rest of America. The fact that Democrats are among those trying to escape Obamacare makes it all the more important that they remain trapped. Once Democrats suffer the consequences of the law, perhaps they’ll join me in working to repeal it.

“Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office said that Congress is not and never will be exempt from Obamacare. It’s important for the American people to know that this is not true. Senator Reid’s leadership staff, along with all congressional leadership and committee staff members, are already exempt from the law. Even worse, President Obama, his Cabinet and the rest of the administration are exempt from Obamacare. Americans are rightly outraged by this hypocrisy, and I call on Democrat and Republican leaders to force the federal government to suffer under Obamacare along with America’s families and businesses.”

Rep. Graves is the author of the Defund Obamacare Act (H.R. 1005).

It brings to my mind the same question that was asked when the 2000+ page bill was being debated:  if it’s such a great piece of legislation, then why are our nation’s leaders seeking an exemption from it’s mandate?  I guess we’re starting to find out what’s really in the bill.  Funny, that’s exactly the rationale that was used to pass the durn thing in the first place!

Dear Congress and Mr. President, you made the bed for the American people.  You’ve gotta sleep in it too.


  1. DavidTC says:

    Uh, no. Graves is a moron.

    The thing is, under the ACA, lawmakers are _required to be on the exchanges_. Already. This is already part of the ACA, and was proposed by the GOP as a ‘Look how hypocritical the Dems are, they won’t pass this and put themselves under it’…and the Dems passed it.

    Then everyone realized this was literally impossible, due to how the ACA is being slowly phased it. Large employers (like the US government) are not allowed to be on the exchanges until 2017. Meanwhile, the US executive branch, as of 2014, is required to not provide any insurance _except_ insurance from the exchange…the exchange the US government doesn’t have access to until 2017.

    And hence, without a change in the law, the executive branch _cannot provide any insurance at all_ for three years. (Which, hilariously, is also in violation of the law.)

    This is not some sort of complicated fact, this is not some sort of ‘exemption’, this is the fact that a damn stupid ‘trick’ was proposed by the GOP who felt the ‘Democrats are never going to make themselves subject to this’, and the Democrats said ‘Sure we will’. It’s _undoing_ an exception in the law, one that was very poorly poorly thought out.

    • DavidTC says:

      Sorry, in that last post, I meant ‘legislative branch’, not ‘executive branch’.

      Oh, and it’s worth pointing out that some people disagree with this interpretation of the law, and assert the law cannot be ordering Congress to do things that is literally impossible. Under the law Congress must provide health care, period, and the fact they ‘must’ buy it from the exchanges either means they _can_ buy it from there, regardless of the law on that topic, or that they can buy it from elsewhere until the exchanges exist.

      Others disagree with this interpretation and wish to fix the law.

      To recap: Congress is already restricted by the ACA in a way that NO ONE ELSE IN EXISTENCE IS. Congress _must_ participate in the exchanges, whereas every other employer has the option of either doing that _or_ just purchasing insurance like normal.

      However, some people, having carefully read that law, have pointed out a weird problem with it that might mean it is not actually workable. And thus it might need to be removed, _removing_ the ‘exception’ (Or rather, restriction) in the law that specifically applies to the legislature and putting them on exactly equal footing with all other large employers.

    • DavidTC says:

      Part of the joke is that Congress does not actually need to be ‘exempted’ from anything. Congress already provides quite good health insurance, and hence, if nothing in the ACA had mentioned them by name, they would be lumped under the ACA as a normal ‘large employer’ and would have to change nothing about how they provide health insurance.

      The mere _idea_ they might want to exempt themselves from…being legally required to do what they’re already doing, shows the people talking about this literally have no idea what the ACA does.

      But, then again, this is a very very common problem in politics, people literally having no idea what the ACA does. It is astonishing how many people seem completely unaware of the fact that if an organization provides good health insurance to their employees, the ACA isn’t going to change anything.(1) Okay, the organization will need to select a plan that is ACA-compatible, but it is extremely unlikely that non-ACA plans will even _exist_ at that point. And the plans get nice and labelled, with logical progressions, so picking a plan is a hell of a lot easier.

      1) Someone here is going to assert that the ACA is going to raise prices…ignoring the fact that without the ACA, and without the new price controls, insurance prices were already skyrocketing. Right now, prices are mostly due to the insane rates of hospitals and whatnot, which is neither caused by or fixed by the ACA.

  2. Jon Richards says:

    I was in DC up on Capitol Hill today, and this topic came up in conversations with several Georgia representatives. The consensus response was that there was no active bill to exempt the legislature from Obamacare, and if there was, the bill would not have a good chance at passing. They pushed the whole thing off as a media stunt.

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