House Republicans appear to have included a provision that exempts Members of Congress and their staff from their latest health care plan.
The new Republican amendment, introduced Tuesday night, would allow states to waive out of Obamacare’s ban on pre-existing conditions. This means that insurers could once again, under certain circumstances, charge sick people higher premiums than healthy people.
Republican legislators liked this policy well enough to offer it in a new amendment. They do not, however, seem to like it enough to have it apply to themselves and their staff. A spokesperson for Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) who authored this amendment confirmed this was the case: members of Congress and their staff would get the guarantee of keeping these Obamacare regulations. Health law expert Tim Jost flagged me to this particular issue.
A bit of background is helpful here. Obamacare requires all members of Congress and their staff to purchase coverage on the individual market, just like Obamacare enrollees. The politics of that plank were simple enough, meant to demonstrate that if the coverage in this law were good enough for Americans than it should be good enough for their representations in Washington.
That’s been happening for the past four years now. Fast-forward to this new amendment, which would allow states to waive out of key Obamacare protections like the ban on pre-existing conditions or the requirement to cover things like maternity care and mental health services.
If Congressional aides lived in a state that decided to waive these protections, the aides who were sick could be vulnerable to higher premiums than the aides that are healthy. Their benefits package could get skimpier as Obamacare’s essential health benefits requirement may no longer apply either.
I appreciate wanting to keep your staff healthy. Too bad it doesn’t apply to all Americans. I guess being a College Republican who gets a staff job out of college with a fireeating Republican makes you the member of a superior class, unlike those people.
Reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, a cut which sounds like it will indeed apply to “pass-through” companies like the Trump Organization.
Reduction of the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent and reduction in the number of individual tax brackets from seven to three.
Doubling the standard deduction.
Repeal of the estate tax.
Repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax.
Repeal of the “Net Investment Income” tax that helps pay for Obamacare.
It would also eliminate nearly every deduction except for mortgage. Among many other things, this would effectively mean the end of freelancing as a career choice.
How would this affect Herr Trump? Secretary of the Treasury Jay Gould:
How will the president’s own tax bill be affected by the plan? “I can’t comment on the president’s tax situation since I don’t have access to that.”
I’m sure that Trump will make this clear soon enough by releasing his taxes!