Posts Tagged ‘staff’
June 14th, 2013 at 12:52 pm
Congress Facing Brain Drain over ObamaCare

Thanks to a little-noticed Republican amendment, ObamaCare puts Members of Congress and their staffers under the same insurance rate-shock being anticipated by the private sector.

Reporting in Politico gives a useful summary:

“Currently, aides and lawmakers receive their health care under the generous Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. The government subsidizes upward of 75 percent of the premiums for the health insurance plans. In 2014, most Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers are expected to be put onto those exchanges, and there has been no guidance whether the government will subsidize those premiums. This is expected to cause a steep spike in health insurance costs.”

The source of the heartburn is the Grassley Amendment. Added to ObamaCare in 2010 during Senate debate, the amendment requires aides and lawmakers to use insurance plans that are either “created” by the law or “offered through an exchange.”

Partisans on both sides agree that the text and the intent of the amendment ensure that Congress and its employees will be subject to the same regulatory pain ObamaCare imposes on everyone else.

So, unless the feds carve out an exemption for Congress, there could be a sudden burst of retirements as staff members try to avoid paying higher premiums on lower incomes than they could get in the private sector.

If that happens, the coming brain drain in Congress will negatively impact the quality of work it produces. But unlike every other employer in America, the national legislature has only itself to blame.