Congressional staffers are upset about the situation they are in with regard to the Affordable Care Act. The Washington Post reports:
The vast majority of congressional staff directors think their employees are worried about their health benefits after a GOP amendment to the Affordable Care Act forced them off their normal federal-worker plans, according to a survey released Monday.
Ninety percent of chiefs of staff and local directors in a Congressional Management Foundation survey said their employees are concerned about the benefit changes, while 86 percent said their workers are worried about cost.
Congressional staffers previously qualified for coverage under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan, but an amendment by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) to the health law now prohibits lawmakers and their staffers from taking part in the program.
Those individuals must now seek coverage through their spouses, parents, or the federal exchange established under the health law. Otherwise, they have to pay a penalty for not having insurance.
Well, boo hoo!
These people were fine imposing the law on the rest of us so they can shut up and eat their own cooking (since many staffers would have actually helped write the law).
The way the Washington Post lobbies for these bloated parasites is just amazing:
One thing to keep in mind: The Affordable Care Act expressly prohibits congressional employees from using their previous insurance plans, but that same rule does not apply to other Americans. Instead, the law simply sets a minimum standard of coverage that some old plans did not meet, thereby forcing certain individuals to find more robust plans.
Right. It is so much worse to be “expressly” prohibited from keeping your plan rather than merely losing your plan because the Affordable Care Act doesn’t allow it to exist anymore.
I can think of a couple of other things a reader should keep in mind. All these staffers get a seventy-five percent subsidy. Perhaps you think that is just like many other Americans who will get subsidies. But I doubt anyone outside of Congress is getting a seventy-five percent subsidy while pulling down $174k a year. Staffers don’t make as much as representatives but some of them make a good deal more than would ever get any of us a subsidy from the Affordable Care Act.
But the complaints continue. According to Politico.com, “79 percent cited worries to access.” In other words, they know that they are not going to get the best hospitals or doctors in the shrunk networks that are part of the new insurance plans.
Of the 163 aides who participated in the survey — which included House and Senate chiefs of staff, House district directors and Senate state directors — 79 percent said it was likely that the health care changes could contribute to staff exits. Fifty-two percent of those who responded worked in a Democratic office, while 48 percent were from GOP offices. The response rate for the survey was 15 percent.
In the surveys, aides warned of a brain drain that could hit Capitol Hill because of the new requirements for health care under Obamacare – while younger staffers tended to save money on their premiums, many older aides say their costs will rise. A person’s age is among the few factors under the health care law that insurance companies can use to set prices.
What is amazing to me is that Politico’s story doesn’t say a word against Obamacare as bad policy. It only says that our beloved and admirable congressional staffers are too good for it and don’t deserve its abuse.
That is what people in the Beltway think of themselves and what they think of us.