Have you looked into the Obamacare exchange program yet? Did you qualify for a government subsidy to help pay the outrageous prices for Obamacare health coverage? If you didn’t qualify for a subsidy and found that the plans are too expensive to purchase, how do you feel knowing that a member of Congress making $174,000 a year that you and I pay for, who has a wife and kids, receives a $10,000 per year government subsidy also that you and I pay for?
It’s like getting kicked in the chest by horse, it takes the air right out of your lungs, making it hard to breathe or do anything. Or you may feel it’s like taking a bite out of a rotten apple that leaves a very bitter taste in your mouth.
Prior to Obamacare, members of Congress received their health coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program or FEHBP. Single members of Congress received $4,966.80 a year from the government to pay for their plans and members of Congress with families received a government subsidy of $10,048.76 a year. When Obamacare went into effect, the FEHBP subsidies were supposed to be eliminated.
However the White House Office of Personnel took it upon themselves to provide virtually the same subsidies for Congress as they lost.
How does this compare with real America and the land of the working family? The basic rule being used to determine if a person or family is eligible to receive a government subsidy for an Obamacare exchange program is 400% above poverty. In other words a family of 4 making less than $94,200 a year would qualify for a government subsidy. If their income is above 400% of the poverty level for a family of four, they don’t qualify for any subsidy.
CNS News ran two comparisons to demonstrate the inequality of Congress compared to a private family, both living in Washington DC. Using the Kaiser Family Foundation Subsidy Calculator, the priced a Silver Tier policy for a family of 4; both parents age 58 and 2 kids under 21. Then they used the same calculator for a married congresswoman aged 58 also with 2 kids under the age of 21. The cost of both plans was $15,481 a year.
The private family made $94,250 a year, which is $50 over the 400% of poverty level. That means that they would not receive any government subsidy towards the cost of their healthcare policy. The congresswoman makes $174,000 a year, which is 739% over the poverty level for a family of four. However, the congresswoman receives a subsidy of $10,048.76, bringing their total cost down to $5,432.24 a year for their healthcare.
Worse yet, designated members of the congresswoman’s staff will also receive a government subsidy regardless if their income is more than 400% of the poverty level. It’s up to the congresswoman to determine who is ‘designated’ among her staff. So a designated congressional staffer, married with 2 children could make the same as the family above, but since they work for the privileged few, they will receive a subsidy while the working family won’t. I’m not sure how much the staffer’s subsidies will be as it is calculated differently than for the members of Congress, but be assured that it’s a lot more than the family making the same amount and not getting any subsidy.
When you do your taxes this next year, just keep reminding yourself that you are not only paying the salaries of your congressmen/women and their staffers, but you’re also paying for their government Obamacare subsidies that you most likely didn’t qualify for, even though you made less than they do. So much for what Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address:
“… government of the people, by the people, for the people…”