Michelle Nunn Wants To End…The Congressional Obamacare Subsidy?

April 22, 2014 9:58 am

by Charlie · 23 comments

It’s clear that Nunn wants to position herself as a centrist, and not a “Washington Democrat”, but will this play with independents, and how far to the center will activist Democrats allow her to move away from them before they call BS and decide to quit community organizing on her behalf?  Discuss.

Dave Weigel is not amused. #derp

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Doctor Strangelove April 22, 2014 at 10:04 am

Hey, Democrat who community organizes for her here.

Still don’t care.

A Dapper Gentleman April 22, 2014 at 10:10 am

It would be better if she ran on getting DC Obamacare plans extended nationwide. DC has gold plans with no deductible, and they’re cheaper than GA’s platinum plan, that still has a deductible.

Also, most congressmen’s congressional salary is $174k, and many if not most will have additional outside income. But lets assume that their entire income is the $174k. A private individual would not even be eligible for Obamacare subsidies even if they had a family of 7 people.

I don’t see why congress should get subsidies when they would not ordinarily qualify for them anyways. I especially don’t like that they’re getting subsidies on plans that are much cheaper and come with better benefits than what their constituents are forced to buy.

NoTeabagging April 22, 2014 at 10:26 am
Chris Huttman April 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm

I believe “no one in Congress” means Representatives and Senators, not the people who answer the phone and the staff on the committees.

rmarsden89 April 22, 2014 at 8:42 pm

The way I have understood it is that it means staffers as well. Most of the staffers don’t make all that much and work up there because the benefits were so good

Chris Huttman April 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm

“Congress” refers to the members, not the staff. Same thing as if I said “we can’t trust the people in the state legislature” I wouldn’t be talking about the security guard who works the door.

Salmo April 22, 2014 at 10:37 am

I wonder how her father feels about her wanting him to lose his job?

Populism is so lame.

Ed April 22, 2014 at 11:33 am

If you’re going to re-tread names with past glory, why not re-use playbooks that have led Democrats to recent glory?

CJBear71 April 22, 2014 at 11:41 am

This is why I often hate politicians and their stupid polling data. I bet any of your $50 she doesn’t believe in what she’s saying, and she doesn’t understand the issues behind it. She just thinks this will make her look like a moderate-conservative Democrat in a red state. And for the record, you see the same sort of behavior by Republicans in NY, CA, MA, etc. in order to look moderate-liberal in blue states.

The whole thing was a stupid idea suggested by a Republican Senator during the debate in Congress over the ACA, and the Democrats were stupid to accept it. Ending the employer contribution (i.e. “subsidy”) by Congress for health care won’t hurt the actual Congressmen & Senators who earn $174K and have a median wealth of about $4 million. It’s going to hurt their STAFF. Hard working men and women, both Republicans and Democrats, who are trying to serve their country and live in one of the most expensive cities in the US with about $40,000 annual salary. If that.

It’s one thing to debate politics and policy, size of government, etc. It’s another to use the staff who work for you as a political foil to prove a point. It pisses me off. And it pisses me off that Michelle Nunn won’t try to cut through the BS as she campaigns in GA.

A Dapper Gentleman April 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I agree that no subsidies would hurt the staff disproportionately. Which is why they should qualify for the same subsidies that every other hard working American can qualify for, including private citizens in DC.

I guess I don’t see why congress and their staff need special subsidies that aren’t available to constituents. They are already getting better plans than what is offered in their home states, plus extra subsidies that aren’t available to their constituents.

Salmo April 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm

All full-time federal employees get employer-provided health care, much like nearly all other professional-class, salaried employees in government and the private sector. Congressional staff are just required by law to purchase their plans on the DC exchange rather than through the federal plan. Why should Congressional staff be treated worse than all other federal employees?

If the employer contribution were taken away from staff, would you at least support increasing their take home pay to account for the compensation they would otherwise lose after losing the employer health care contribution? Or do you just want to give them a pay cut out of spite?

A Dapper Gentleman April 22, 2014 at 2:26 pm

It’s a shame that Congress was so eager to pass healthcare reform that they ended up putting themselves at a disadvantage. I can only imagine if they didn’t fully understood how it was effecting themselves, how it effects the average American.

If Congressional staff want to be treated like federal employees, then let them go back onto federal healthcare. Obviously Obamacare is too expensive for them, and they may make too much to qualify for subsidies.

Congress voting in a pay increase is never out of the question. It might be the easier option for them to be able to say that they’re part of Obamacare, but not have to pay for it. None of the gold plans on the DC exchange seem to feature the same amount of cost sharing as plans do for their constituents.

Salmo April 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm

There are plenty of GOP staffers who worked diligently to oppose the ACA that you are lumping in here, for what it’s worth. That includes the majority of staffers currently working in the House.

To the point, I’m sure most would be happy to go back on the federal plan. In the end, as long as they’re not forced to foot 100% of the tab, they’re probably fine either way.

CJBear71 April 22, 2014 at 2:08 pm

As Salmo said – it’s the employer paid portion of your health insurance premium. I have it through my work, as do most people. My employer pays about $4,000 a year for my health insurance, and I pay about $1,200. The portion I pay comes out pre-tax, and employers get a tax break (fully expensed) unless it’s one of the “cadillac plans”. Congressional staff shouldn’t be any different.

rmarsden89 April 22, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Thankyou CJBear, what people seem to fogey is that they are comparing the congressional plans to individual plans, not to group plans that have yet to be provided through companies. Most companies in America pay a portion of their employees health plan. That is all this is, its these peoples employer paying for a portion of their plan

Dave Bearse April 22, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Yes it would hurt staff disproportionately. As Huttman previously pointed out however, staff isn’t “in Congress”, only House Representatives and Senators (and some might say the VP) are.

Richard April 22, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I have three questions; why doesn’t Michelle use her maiden name, and why did she get a mostly true from Politifact and Carter get a mostly false? Do you think the public understands the difference between the two statements, or does Michelle just have better handlers who understand the nuances behind the word “is?”

Doctor Strangelove April 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Um, what? Her maiden name is Nunn. And she goes by Michelle Nunn. So she uses her maiden name.

James Fannin April 22, 2014 at 4:57 pm

And while she’s on her high horse, she should advocate that CEO’s of major national non-political non-profits should be barred from running for partisan political office. Soliciting donations to your political campaign from among donors to your tax exempt non-profit should also be banned. A basic ethical tenet of non-profit leadership is you don’t fish in the same pond – in other words, you don’t solicit donations from your organization’s donor pool to benefit yourself. Oh, and while we are on the subject, employees of non- profits should be barred from volunteering on partisan political campaigns of non-profit CEOs running for partisan political office – especially while their former boss is taking a leave of absence and will likely return as the boss. There are so many ways for Michelle to demonstrate goid ethical behavior right here in Georgia at Points of Light by erecting firewalls. She could even take down that commercial with President Bush that misleads voters into thinking he endorses her.

Chris Huttman April 23, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Among the dumbest things I’ve read. How does a non-profit donor benefit from then giving to the candidate? If you knew anything about fundraising you’d know it’s a lot harder to get a political contribution than it is to get one to a non-profit, it isn’t even the same world.

Running a successful non-profit could open the door to getting a political donation from someone who gave to your non-profit, as the donor could conclude that you’re the type of person that should be in office.

But this just dumb. Especially when you compare to David Perdue – CEO of a for-profit business that gets tax breaks for companies and who conveniently won’t release his client list.

jiminga April 23, 2014 at 7:27 am

Like all campaigners, she makes promises she can’t or won’t keep. And it’s fascinating that all her TV ads never mention that she’s a democrat, apparently hoping the low information voter won’t notice.

Chris Huttman April 23, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Don’t worry – anyone who can read well enough to fill out a ballot will eventually find out.

Jon Lester April 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Ironically, Dr. Rad is actually running on the principles that Democrats are supposed to stand for, yet the party is actively trying to marginalize his candidacy.