President Trump has been urging Congress to pass a bill on healthcare since he took office. Congress has failed to pass such a bill several times already. Now, the President is considering revoking Congress members’ exemption to Obamacare in order to force their hands on a healthcare bill.
When the Affordable Care Act was passed under President Obama, an exemption was made for members of Congress and their staff from rules included in the ACA--rules with which ordinary citizens have to comply.
Trump is now considering revoking these privileges for Congress members, which would likely have the effect of spurring them on to pass healthcare legislation.
Recently, the President tweeted:
If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn't it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2017
If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2017
Joe Morris, former general counsel for the Office of Personnel Management, also criticized Congress members' exemption from ACA rules:
“This is one more instance of Congress passing an unpleasant, expensive, onerous law on citizens and then conferring a valuable benefit on itself,” Morris told The Daily Signal.
The exemption was reportedly created via a directive from the Obama administration’s Office of Personnel Management. This means it could be easily reversed by President Trump.
Robert Moffit, senior health policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, said the President “should just do it.” Moffit added that forcing Congress members to live under Obamacare rules just like other Americans would be consistent with Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp.”
“If you are talking about draining the swamp, this would be a direct assault on the swamp creatures in eliminating what is clearly an illegal insurance subsidy,” stated Moffit.
Photo: Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), speaking with an aide, and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) walk to the Senate floor for a procedural vote on the GOP heath care plan, on Capitol Hill, July 25, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Senate voted to begin debate on a bill to repeal significant portions of the Affordable Care Act.
Photo courtesy: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Publication date: August 2, 2017