Congressmen Will Receive Obamacare Subsidy Even Though They Don’t Qualify Under The Law

Allow me to plagiarize myself. Back in August, I wrote about how if you make “too much money,” Obamacare would in effect penalize you for it. If you made more than 400% of the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL), which varies by household size, even by $1, you would no longer be eligible for a government subsidy to purchase health insurance, and you’d be on your own.

Under Obamacare’s rules, as long as you’re within 400% of the FPL, you won’t be required to pay more than 9.5% of your income toward health insurance. The subsidy will pick up the difference. But as soon as you make just over 400% of the FPL, you’ll no longer be eligible for the subsidy, and you’ll have to pay the entire premium yourself, leaving you with less money by the end of the year, even though your income is higher.

Unless you’re a congressman. In which case, even if your taxpayer-funded salary is way above that 400% threshold, you’ll still be eligible for a taxpayer-funded subsidy. CNS News reported:

Under the OPM deal arranged in August, the average member of Congress who makes $174,000 a year will be able to keep his approximately $10,000 health insurance subsidy, like he used to get under his old plan, before Obamacare. Congressional staffers who buy through the exchange will also get to keep the subsidies they were receiving

CNS News continued with a couple hypothetical examples highlighting the double standard that allows special exemptions for congressmen:

Using the Kaiser Family Foundation Subsidy Calculator, the [hypothetical] D.C. family of four making $94,250 a year, or just $50 above the 400% of poverty level, would pay $15,481 a year for their family health plan if they chose the silver plan (the middle-tier plan used by Kaiser). They would receive $0 in subsidy.

The congresswoman and her family living next door makes $174,000. Her income is 739% of poverty level and her insurance plan, at the Silver level, would also cost $15,481. But the congresswoman would qualify for a subsidy of $10,048.76.

They’re arguing that it’s not a subsidy exactly. It’s the employer’s required “contribution.” And who is the employer? Well, we’re the ones that “employed” them by voting them into office to represent us, so, we’re their employer. And in addition to their $174,000 salary, we also have to pay that $10,000 “contribution” toward their healthcare policy premiums. And not just for the members of Congress, but also their various and numerous staff. So, it’s not special treatment. They’re just trying to follow the law, right?