The Exemption

I think all of us — liberal, conservative and otherwise — can unite in saying “No Fucking Way“:

Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.

The talks — which involve Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Obama administration and other top lawmakers — are extraordinarily sensitive, with both sides acutely aware of the potential for political fallout from giving carve-outs from the hugely controversial law to 535 lawmakers and thousands of their aides. Discussions have stretched out for months, sources said.

A source close to the talks says: “Everyone has to hold hands on this and jump, or nothing is going to get done.”

Yet if Capitol Hill leaders move forward with the plan, they risk being dubbed hypocrites by their political rivals and the American public. By removing themselves from a key Obamacare component, lawmakers and aides would be held to a different standard than the people who put them in office.

Gee, politico, ya think so? One thing to note in the article: there seems to be a lot of confusion on Capital Hill about what, exactly, implementing the bill will entail for Congress. That is, Congress isn’t clear on what their own healthcare reform is going to mean to them. How do they expect the rest of us to keep up?

When this whole process started, I said that a keystone had to be that Congress got the same plan the rest of us did. Several Republicans made sure that got into Obamacare. We can’t back down now. If Congress exempts themselves from this, we really will end up with one system for the rich and power, and one system for the rest of us.

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  1. Thrill

    They’re all denying it. Which, of course, is all the proof we need to know that they were totally plotting to do it.


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  2. Hal_10000 *

    Ezra Klein has a more nuanced take. He’s saying that a provision was put in requiring Congress can go on the exchanges. But other large employers can’t use exchanges until 2017. So the exchanges aren’t ready and no one knows what the hell is going to happen here. Once again, Congress didn’t look through the bill to know what they were passing. In that reading, Congress is trying to get themselves onto the same footing as every other large business.

    That having been said, there are many small businesses and individuals staring down the barrel of these exchanges. And most of the exchanges are not anywhere close to ready. I think the logical thing to do is to delay them for at least a year. Congress is all eager to fix the problem that faces them. but the problems facing everyone else? Meh.

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  3. Seattle Outcast

    Klein is generally regarded as a liar. Even if he has his raw data correct he’s lying about everything associated with it.

    It’s like being sold a used car – the year and model is about all the salesman is telling the truth about.

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  4. Mississippi Yankee

    If Congress exempts themselves from this, we really will end up with one system for the rich and power, and one system for the rest of us.

    What did Orwell mean by “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”? A proclamation by the pigs who control the government in the novel Animal Farm.

    See it really is that simple.

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  5. Hal_10000 *

    SO, I’ve usually found Klein to be very accurate when it comes to fact. I disagree with his opinions a lot, but he’s very fair. He was the one who made Paul Ryan a national name.

    What I think Klein misses is this: let’s posit that it was a dumb idea to throw Congress into the exchanges rather than letting them stick with the group insurance that they were previously on and that most large business will be using until at least 2017. So what? it was a part of the law. It was one of the many many poorly written provisions that got raked in because Congress passed a draft bill after Scott Brown was elected. Revising the bill to fix this stuff would have exposed them to filibuster.

    For the past three years, everyone and their grandmother has been complaining about bad provisions of this poorly designed bill. Everyone. We hear daily reports of confusion and chaos. The exchanges are not going to be ready or will have few choices. Insurance rates are going up. It’s a mess.

    But it’s only when their goat is getting fucked that Congress suddenly says, “Oh, crap! We need to fix Obamacare!” Give me a break.

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  6. Hal_10000 *

    it’s also kind of hilarious reading the confusion over this bill. As conceived, Congress should not be on the exchanges yet. The exchanges are intended, until 2017, for people who have to get individual policies, not people who have insurance through their employer. In 2017, exchanges are planned to be available for big employers.

    But this provision got in there mandating that Congress go on the exchanges now. And … basically no one is really sure what the fuck it means. Does that mean they have to drop their government insurance all insure themselves individually? Does it mean the government has to go to large policy exchanges that don’t exist? Does it mean that all of the Congresscritters have to dress up like pigs and sing the Mickey Mouse Club Song? No one knows.

    What the hell kind of a law is that when Congress doesn’t know what it means for them?

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  7. AlexInCT


    We should have a law that forces anyone in government to pay up double of whatever tax or penalty they assess the citizenry. In addition, they should be the first to line up for whatever program they force upon the same citizenry. If you needed more proof that they knew what they were doing was wrong, just look at the fact that they want to exclude themselves from the consequences of their laws. But hey, the problem is with people like me that think it is high time the tree of liberty was watered yet again with the requisite fluid so eloquently quoted by Jefferson.

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  8. Mook

    SO, I’ve usually found Klein to be very accurate when it comes to fact.

    Wasn’t Klein the ringleader of the “journalist” group organized for the purpose of misleading people by enforcing a uniform liberal narrative?

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