Perhaps the most famous line from George Orwell’s classic satire on socialism, “Animal Farm,” is that which declares, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
If the following report on what House Republicans are doing with their Obamacare replacement bill holds true, then they have just turned Orwell’s words into action by granting themselves a privilege not extended to everyone else.
The Hill reported that as House Republicans renewed their efforts to cobble together and pass a workable replacement to Obamacare, an amendment was added that would once again exempt members of Congress and their staff from provisions of the bill that could have a negative effect on some of their constituents.
In short, the people who plan to replace Obamacare want to retain for themselves certain Obamacare provisions that are good for them, without allowing the rest of us to keep those provisions.
The congressional exemption would apply to waivers granted to individual states that would allow them to opt out of certain burdensome mandates imposed by Obamacare, such as community ratings (a flat price for plans for all enrollees in an area) and the essential benefits package (which requires coverage for a host of services that may be unnecessary), as was first pointed out by the Health Affairs Blog.
While states being exempted from those onerous provisions could be good in the long run in a “free market” sort of way — and would lower premiums for younger, healthier individuals who don’t require as much coverage — it would also inevitably lead to higher premiums for older, less healthy individuals who need the extensive coverage.
The fact that members of Congress and their staffs would be exempt from those waivers isn’t sitting well with some people, nor should it, as the laws they write and impose on the citizenry should be applied to themselves as well.
However, while the left-leaning Vox seemed to imply that this is some sort of new and nefarious development by uncaring Republicans granting themselves special privileges, The American Spectator pointed out that Congress has long been exempted from many of Obamacare’s mandates, which could explain why they have been dragging their feet when it comes to repealing and replacing the law.
Regardless of their reasoning behind the decision to exempt themselves from certain provisions of the American Health Care Act, it certainly doesn’t look good to anyone on either side of the political aisle.
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