Over the last week, there have been reports that Members of Congress have exempted themselves from Obamacare. These reports are false. Members of Congress should never be exempt from any laws that they pass, and all Members of Congress and their personal staff must enroll in the new healthcare exchanges. The only people who are exempt from enrolling in the new Obamacare exchanges are the President, his Cabinet secretaries and the Democratic committee staff who wrote the bill.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released a rule earlier this week clarifying that the federal government will continue to contribute to the cost of health insurance premiums for members of Congress and congressional staff, in the same way contributions have been made in the past. Currently, the government contributes about 72 percent of the cost of the premium for Members of Congress, congressional staff, and all other federal employees. This benefit is similar to what many individuals with employer-sponsored insurance have in the private sector. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average private sector employer contributes about 66 percent to 85 percent of the premium cost for their employees.
The Obama Administration has recently taken a series of actions that confirm what most Texans already know – that the President’s health care law doesn’t work. The Administration has missed a series of deadlines and handed out exemption after exemption, but they have done nothing to lower health care costs for families in Texas. In fact, a recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal demonstrates how the President’s health care law is driving up costs for Texas families who are facing a 35-65 percent increase in their premiums under Obamacare.
Obamacare’s new rules will affect my health care, just as it will affect yours. Since Obamacare is fundamentally flawed, House conservatives will continue to call for the full repeal of the law and the implementation of common-sense reforms that will lower health care costs and increase access to quality and affordable health care.