President Barack Obama told his fellow Democrats in Congress last week that “you’re on the right side of history” with respect to his policy ideas.
So why aren’t congressional Democrats standing on Obama’s “side” as it pertains to Obamacare?
The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (euphemistically referred to as “Obamacare”) health care reform law is being phased-in around the country, with approximately half of the states in the union setting-up insurance exchanges in compliance with the law and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) gearing up to enforce the law. Yet a growing cadre of individuals and organizations that have supported the President and the formation of the Obamacare agenda are now proactively seeking to not participate in it.
As the Obamacare legislation was making its way through Congress back in 2009, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) inserted an amendment requiring members of Congress and their staffs to enroll in the Obamacare insurance exchanges. Grassley’s rationale was simple (and today would probably qualify as a “wackobird” idea by John McCain standards); if congressional members were going to impose the insurance exchanges on the American people, they should have to experience that imposition first hand.
That was nearly four years ago. During this calendar year, alone, groups and individuals in both the public and private sector who have either been supportive of the Obamacare law or are involved with its implementation have sought both changes to, and exemptions from, the law.
Since the first quarter of 2013, both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have sought exemptions from the Obamacare insurance mandates for both themselves and their staffs. In May the head of the United Union of Roofers (roofing installers) called for a full repeal of the Obamacare law claiming that the “individual mandate” to buy certain types of health insurance threatened its’ members existing insurance benefits.
In July AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka demanded that President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) change the law, noting that it would not only threaten union member insurance benefits, but would also “destroy the foundation of the forty-hour work week. After last Friday’s new “jobs report,” it’s difficult to say Trumka was wrong – in fact 77% of all new jobs created in this calendar year have been part-time, less-than-forty-hours-a-week jobs.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.
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