Sen. Ron Johnson Sues Obama Administration

Posted: Jan 06, 2014 5:53 PM
Sen. Ron Johnson Sues Obama Administration

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration Monday, claiming its decision to provide health insurance subsidies to Congressional members and their staff was “completely unfair and unjust.”

As explained by CBS:

Under the Affordable Care Act — widely known as Obamacare — members of Congress and their employees were kicked off their federal health plan and forced to buy insurance through an exchange. The federal Office of Personnel Management issued a rule last September making clear that the federal government would continue to pay the employer contribution for congressional health benefits at the same rate as if members and their staff were still on the federal employee health plan.

Johnson began preparing for the case soon after the OPM announced the loophole. The complaint accuses the administration of attempting to “shoe-horn” the federal government into being a ‘small employer:'

Section 1312(d)(3)(D) of the ACA provides that as of January 1, 2014, the only health insurance plans that Members of Congress and their staffs can be offered by the federal government are health insurance plans “created under [the ACA]” or “offered through an Exchange” established under the ACA. Section 1312(d)(3)(D) was passed so Members of Congress and their staffs would be subject to the ACA in the same way as Members’ constituents.

But in fact, the OPM Rule does not treat Members of Congress and their staffs like the Members’ constituents. Instead, it puts them in a better position by providing them with a continuing tax-free subsidy from the federal government to pay a percentage of the premiums for health insurance purchased through an ACA Exchange, just as they had received under the FEHBP. OPM has limited this subsidy to 112 Gold-tier plans on the D.C. SHOP Exchange. Constituents who purchase plans through an exchange may not receive pre-tax subsidies from their employers.

Democrat supporters of the law put on a very good show, appearing eager to embrace Obamacare, Johnson said in a press conference:

They were eager, that is, until they really started thinking about what the true effect on themselves would be. And of course, that's when they went running to President Obama for special treatment — and they got it.

Congress must be subject to the rules of the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," which, Johnson claimed, is actually neither affordable nor a protection.