Dem staffers on Capitol Hill shocked, shocked at ObamaCare costs

posted at 8:01 am on November 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Sometimes, an introduction simply isn’t necessary:

Veteran House Democratic aides are sick over the insurance prices they’ll pay under Obamacare, and they’re scrambling to find a cure.

“In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before,” Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. “Simply unacceptable.”

And as if that wasn’t enough schadenfreude for readers, here’s what comes next:

In the email, Ta noted that older congressional staffs may leave their jobs because of the change to their health insurance.

The change comes from the requirement built into the ObamaCare law itself that Congress not be exempt from its regulations.  That required “official” aides to move out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, which provided large taxpayer-financed subsidies to cover their gold-plated health insurance.  For older staffers, this is a problem — since under the group plan and heavy subsidies, they never had to pay the market price for individual coverage.

Until now, that is — and the result is actually the reverse of what everyone else is experiencing in the individual markets.  Everywhere else, younger people are seeing dramatic cost increases because (a) they are being forced into needless comprehensive policies, and (b) the age calculation is actually less dramatic, since ObamaCare requires community-based pricing as a means of redistributing those premium contributions to soften the blow for older participants.  The Capitol Hill staffers are discovering, however, what will happen when employer-based coverage starts disappearing, as it will next year when the employer mandates begin to take effect.  Tens of millions of Americans will be experiencing the same shock — right before the midterms in which the bosses of these staffers have to stand for re-election.

Good luck with that. This may be the most pertinent Captain Louis Renault Award ever given.


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…Smart Power!

KOOLAID2 on November 22, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Somehow this strikes me as less of a “Captain Renault” moment and more of a “Live by the sword; die by the sword” payoff.

apostic on November 22, 2013 at 8:04 AM

…You have to pass the bill…to find out what’s in it…the Democrats…still haven’t read it!

KOOLAID2 on November 22, 2013 at 8:04 AM

No whining

cmsinaz on November 22, 2013 at 8:04 AM

The Capitol Hill staffers are discovering, however, what will happen when employer-based coverage starts disappearing, as it will next year when the employer mandates begin to take effect. Tens of millions of Americans will be experiencing the same shock — right before the midterms in which the bosses of these staffers have to stand for re-election.

Somehow, I’m not feeling too much empathy for these guys.

Happy Nomad on November 22, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Pay Up Suckas.

Murphy9 on November 22, 2013 at 8:07 AM

No whining

cmsinaz on November 22, 2013 at 8:04 AM

No need when you work for the people who write laws that circumvent the laws they don’t like. This was a big cave on the GOP’s part during the budget showdown because they too have elder staffers who have enjoyed gold-plated plans until now when they have to choose to pay more or opt for the tin foil plan and hope for the best.

Happy Nomad on November 22, 2013 at 8:09 AM

The FEHB is subsidized with the government kicking in most of the cost for any plan. If memory serves it picks up about 60% of the cost, so when you go from FEHB to the private market you find that you can’t get the same rates as the government, and from that you get the second sticker shock of what your insurance costs privately… and the third sticker shock is the deductibles being much, much higher outside FEHB.

So phase 1 is hitting now, and phase 2 just setting in.

Phase 3 is when they actually do a side-by-side comparison with what they had with what is now available.

Soon a Congress with a bunch of people only doing the 1% bit and hating the ACA.

ajacksonian on November 22, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Soon a Congress with a bunch of people only doing the 1% bit and hating the ACA.

ajacksonian on November 22, 2013 at 8:10 AM

And hopefully hating their bosses for voting for it. And angry that their bosses are the only ones that get to keep their doctors and plans.

Happy Nomad on November 22, 2013 at 8:13 AM

With this group, I will enjoy their pain.

cozmo on November 22, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Damn you, Ted Cruz, and that GOP shutdown!

/what they believe is the cause

mankai on November 22, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Eat your peas & spinach, bitches!!!

powerpickle on November 22, 2013 at 8:16 AM

I thought Biden told us that people love paying “taxes”?

mankai on November 22, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Related issue- Some good news unless you Sandra Fluke, activist and head of Bar Sluts for Taking Away Religious Diversity (BASTARD).

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A federal judge in western Pennsylvania says Catholic groups don’t immediately have to comply with mandates in the federal health care overhaul law.

The Diocese is challenging its participation in the health care program because it would be required to provide its employees with contraceptives.

Happy Nomad on November 22, 2013 at 8:19 AM

There is no crying in baseball!

Mord on November 22, 2013 at 8:20 AM

I-phone—Contacts—Schadenfreude Anonomyous–*ringing*

hillsoftx on November 22, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Tens of millions of Americans will be experiencing the same shock — right before the midterms in which the bosses of these staffers have to stand for re-election.

Yes, well there is a fix for that. Simply delay the start of enrollment until AFTER the midterms:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-22/insurers-to-get-extra-month-to-set-2015-obamacare-rates.html

climbnjump on November 22, 2013 at 8:21 AM

They’ll get some sort of accommodation, I’m sure.

rickv404 on November 22, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Ta refers to this as a snafu. The whole damn thing is a snafu. Own it dems.

Ellis on November 22, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Whut? You don’t like Obama’s Turdburger? Too bad, suckah’s.

/Nom Nom Nom

Key West Reader on November 22, 2013 at 8:24 AM

The staffers are suddenly becoming productive. They are all together working on a “work around” for their little problem. Soon to be Democratic legislation.

hip shot on November 22, 2013 at 8:27 AM

They are just now waking up to the fact they were LIED to by their bosses?

docflash on November 22, 2013 at 8:28 AM

As they say in Japan, “Tough f**kin’ shiite, azzholes.”

What, you work for socialist retards who want to control every aspect of everyone’s life, and you’ve watched it happen in real time for decades, but for some reason you thought you would be safe? Spread the wealth, fairness, inclusiveness, kumbaya; live it and love it.

Bishop on November 22, 2013 at 8:28 AM

“Simply unacceptable.”

What are you going to do about it?

Shut up and fork.

Axe on November 22, 2013 at 8:30 AM

They’ll get some sort of accommodation, I’m sure.

rickv404 on November 22, 2013 at 8:23 AM

There’s already one work-around that I’ve read about.
Lawmakers may allow some or all of their employees to keep their current insurance by declaring that they do not work in the “official office” of a member of Congress. Members don’t even have to disclose such decisions, although some have voluntarily done so…Issa being one of them. He decided that all of his staff members, including those who work in his personal office, could stay in the FEHB program and would not have to go into an exchange.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 8:31 AM

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 8:31 AM

I can agree with a version of that.

If your congress critter voted against 0bamacare, you get to stay the way you are.

If your congress critter voted for 0bamacare, you get to taste the fruits of your labor.

cozmo on November 22, 2013 at 8:34 AM

I’m looking around, but can’t seem to find any spare sympathy for those people. They wanted ObamaCare, they’ve got ObamaCare. So they can just STFU! and suck it up!

GarandFan on November 22, 2013 at 8:35 AM

They are just now waking up to the fact they were LIED to by their bosses?

docflash on November 22, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Yes, it’s the truth.

If you consider the average Dumbocrat voter as a little kid who stills believes in Santa Claus, you’ll have a pretty accurate assessment. I am not joking, and if you think about it & look around at them, you’ll see what I mean…

Anti-Control on November 22, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Dems should be reminded that nothing in Obamacare says- If you like your staffers you can keep your staffers. Period.

Happy Nomad on November 22, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Wait, urban elitist told us it’s just a software problem and the increased rates, deductibles, and millions of outright cancellations are just noise.

rogerb on November 22, 2013 at 8:38 AM

They could always just die quickly. Or was that the Republican plan?

Naturally Curly on November 22, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. “Simply unacceptable.”

F____ U__ Ta! This is exactly what you, personally, are doing to the whole country. Go to Hell.

rbj on November 22, 2013 at 8:42 AM

rogerb on November 22, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Homophobe.

Bishop on November 22, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Don’t these aides also have access to the the “special” BC/BS website that has been designated for Congress? And the “special” toll-free telephone number —the “dedicated congressional health insurance plan assistance line”? And the numerous “gold plan” insurance choices that no one else has access too?

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Gwenny was 40% of the reason I moved out of Milwaukee county. I was embarrassed to have her as my representative. The other 60% was the cluelessness and incredible level of taxes the rest of the dimocrats that run the county forced on citizens.

roosterman on November 22, 2013 at 8:46 AM

These pricks deserve every retribution we can muster

scboy on November 22, 2013 at 8:48 AM

I can agree with a version of that.

If your congress critter voted against 0bamacare, you get to stay the way you are.

If your congress critter voted for 0bamacare, you get to taste the fruits of your labor.

cozmo on November 22, 2013 at 8:34 AM

I can agree.
At first I wasn’t sure if Issa was doing the right thing, but then I thought if I had the chance to save someone from all of this, I’d do it too.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 8:48 AM

You like Captain Renault.

I prefer Lieutenant John McClean.

Chris of Rights on November 22, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Just two words: “Ha” and “ha.”

Dongemaharu on November 22, 2013 at 8:49 AM

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 8:48 AM

And it would be a fun way to rub their noses in the mess they created.

cozmo on November 22, 2013 at 8:50 AM

I don’t think they are fooling anyone anymore. Even the low information voter is catching on to this crap.

bopbottle on November 22, 2013 at 8:56 AM

But sooner or later they will get a King/Dictator Obama exemption of some sort…the rest of us peons will not.

albill on November 22, 2013 at 8:58 AM

I want to be subsidized for my pain and suffering during Obama’s presidency.

BettyRuth on November 22, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Your tears nourish my garden of hate for you.

teacherman on November 22, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Dem Dim staffers on Capitol Hill shocked, shocked at ObamaCare costs

.
Fixed for the helluvit…

ExpressoBold on November 22, 2013 at 9:03 AM

And as if that wasn’t enough schadenfreude for readers…

It is NEVER enough schadenfreude. I am now using two spoons to shovel it all in.

YUMMY!!

Maddie on November 22, 2013 at 9:06 AM

At first I wasn’t sure if Issa was doing the right thing, but then I thought if I had the chance to save someone from all of this, I’d do it too.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 8:4

.
Then why can’t Issa do something to save the rest of us or allow us to save ourselves… it’s wrong that there is a “class” of people who can wriggle out of this debacle just bt whining about it. That class should have to deal with it, just like we do.

ExpressoBold on November 22, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Obama’s “fix” for this will be to delay the employer mandate another 6 months to push it past the midterm elections.

tommyboy on November 22, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Wait, urban elitist told us it’s just a software problem and the increased rates, deductibles, and millions of outright cancellations are just noise.

rogerb on November 22, 2013 at 8:38 AM

The irony is that the useful idiot argues that people who are upset that their plans have been canceled by the government despite the repeated promises that this would not happen, should be grateful to their overlords for saving them from “theft”… it then concludes its post with “Arbeit Macht Frei” which was a government lie promising those entering their new “government-provided facility” (free housing!) that if they worked hard enough they would see freedom.

Next I expect the Leftist goon to post “Jedem das Seine”.

mankai on November 22, 2013 at 9:15 AM

In the email, Ta noted that older congressional staffs may leave their jobs because of the change to their health insurance.

She says this, like it’s a bad thing.

Most of these staffers are responsible for the the way the laws are crafted. Let them leave – we’d all be better off for it.

Hill60 on November 22, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Obama cares only for himself and his Marxist agenda. The people are of no concern and lying is just the price of doing business. Believe nothing that flows from his mouth or the mouths of his stooges.

rplat on November 22, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Steven Den Beste said it best – “If it’s ‘unacceptable’ for them, why is it acceptable for everyone else?”

RSbrewer on November 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM

************ Liberal Lootery ****************!!

canopfor on November 22, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Ha ha!

/Nelson Muntz

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on November 22, 2013 at 9:23 AM

it’s wrong that there is a “class” of people who can wriggle out of this debacle just bt whining about it. That class should have to deal with it, just like we do.

ExpressoBold on November 22, 2013 at 9:07 AM

I understand, and that was part of my initial reaction when I first heard about Issa doing this for his staff.
On one hand it seems like another exception/waiver for another group of people and Issa shouldn’t be looking to take advantage of that.
On the other hand, if a certain “designation” for employees enables them to keep the same employer coverage they always had, then is that really any different than everyone in the private sector who still has their same coverage through their employer?

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 9:32 AM

typo in schadenfreude under photo on home page (extra n)

talkingpoints on November 22, 2013 at 9:53 AM

On the other hand, if a certain “designation” for employees enables them to keep the same employer coverage they always had, then is that really any different than everyone in the private sector who still has their same coverage through their employer?

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 9:32 AM

.
“The law” (PPACA) has been circumvented by King Ø. The Individual Mandate and the Employer Mandate were designed to be implemented at the same time but, By Royal Decree, were separated. Just because I have my health care insurance through my employer is not some special “designation” by Congress, or a Congressman, or “the law” (PPACA) but a lawless decision by a lawless presidential pretender.
.
I hope you can get that simple concept through your obviously thick skull.

ExpressoBold on November 22, 2013 at 9:56 AM

it’s wrong that there is a “class” of people who can wriggle out of this debacle just bt whining about it. That class should have to deal with it, just like we do.

ExpressoBold on November 22, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Welcome to Rome. The later Empire, that is, not the Republic.

There, government posts were mostly hereditary sinecures. And those filling them came from the patrician class, period. Who were accustomed to seeking, and receiving, “relief” from any measures passed by the Senate and/or decreed by the Emperor that applied to the plebeian class or anyone else.

In fact, most such measures, ranging from taxes to land use rules, specifically exempted the patricians and especially government officials and their employees. Mainly so the Emperor could count on, if not their loyalty, at least their acquiescence.

Of course, this was part of what led to the final breakup, and then fall, of the Western Empire. But most of our modern patricians have never studied history, and the few who have are convinced that It Just Doesn’t Apply To Them.

Kipling’s “Gods of the Copybook Headings” have a different opinion. And ultimately, theirs is the only one that counts.

clear ether

eon

eon on November 22, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Of course, this was part of what led to the final breakup, and then fall, of the Western Empire. But most of our modern patricians have never studied history, and the few who have are convinced that It Just Doesn’t Apply To Them.

eon on November 22, 2013 at 10:06 AM

.
Thanks. That was a good reference. I wish you had mentioned the unlawful rise of the Caesars in your thumbnail sketch of the The Decline of Rome.

ExpressoBold on November 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM

In the email, Ta noted that older congressional staffs may leave their jobs because of the change to their health insurance.

As they say in England, ta ta, Ta.

In an answer to Obamaphones, Republican Senate candidates should offer free health insurance to their full-time campaign workers, which they can keep as staffers after Obamacare is repealed.

Steve Z on November 22, 2013 at 10:26 AM

I hope you can get that simple concept through your obviously thick skull.

ExpressoBold on November 22, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Not a morning person?

The exchanges are for people without employer coverage and these people have employer coverage. By law, is your employer required to drop existing coverage and force their employees into the exchanges? The majority of Americans will not use the exchanges because their employer already has a plan they wish to continue to use. Don’t Congressional employees fit that description?
If you get health insurance through your employer chances are you’re not going to be hurt quite as much by all this – so be thankful for as long as it lasts.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

I thought Obama gave Congress an exemption on this!?

Vince on November 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

As Nelson says, “Ha ha!”

sadatoni on November 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

On the other hand, if a certain “designation” for employees enables them to keep the same employer coverage they always had, then is that really any different than everyone in the private sector who still has their same coverage through their employer?

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Even group plans may have to be canceled to meet the Obamacare regulations. That would cause higher premiums some of which would be passed on to employees. Other employers may decide that the $2000 per employee tax is better than paying anything and push them to the exchanges.
The government would probably eat the higher costs that will come no matter what plan you have. That means us taxpayers.

Vince on November 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM

“Hoo-ray, for Karma,
Hoo-ray, for Karma,
Hoo-ray, for self-inflicted wounds…”
(sung to the tune of…well, I dunno, but it sounds great when I whistle to it).

orangemtl on November 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Obamacare ™, brought to you by Obama, Democrats and the State Media.

virgo on November 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

If you get health insurance through your employer chances are you’re not going to be hurt quite as much by all this – so be thankful for as long as it lasts.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

.
How do you explain this?

You have some mighty erroneous conclusions there… What do you really know about PPACA?

ExpressoBold on November 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Schadenfreude pure.

Boehner is an azzhole for signing up.

Schadenfreude on November 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM

If you (still) get health insurance through your employer chances are you’re not going to be hurt quite as much by all this – so be thankful for as long as it lasts.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

See the bolded word and get real.

Schadenfreude on November 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM

These are the SOBs that WROTE the piece of crap called Obamacare. I wish them pain and misery.

slickwillie2001 on November 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM

If you get health insurance through your employer chances are you’re not going to be hurt quite as much by all this – so be thankful for as long as it lasts.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

“not hurt as much”

Well, gee, thanks for that.

BobMbx on November 22, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Schadenfreude on November 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I’d like to nominate Schad as a candidate for the “Most Appropriate Nom” award.

BobMbx on November 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM

BobMbx on November 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM

:) So much fun s/b forbidden.

Schadenfreude on November 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

BobMbx, in all earnest, I wish it were not so. It’s just perfect for the times. I wish the land were in different, competent and patriotic hands…hands/minds that would work for the legal citizens of the USA.

Schadenfreude on November 22, 2013 at 11:22 AM

You have some mighty erroneous conclusions there… What do you really know about PPACA?

ExpressoBold on November 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Obamacare rewards employers for cancelling coverage and sending their workers to exchanges. I get that, and yes, alot more employer based coverage will go by the wayside as a result.
All I’m saying is that private sector employers do have a choice and I don’t mind if Issa was able to make that same choice for his staff as well. In fact, I might go so far as to say the Grassley amendment really wasn’t the best of ideas. Government employees should be forced into coverage inferior to what they have now, with the wacky reason that we should “teach them” how the American people feel? Congress, yes…employees, no.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

“not hurt as much”

Well, gee, thanks for that.

BobMbx on November 22, 2013 at 11:15 AM

I don’t mean to trivialize the magnitude of anyone’s pain that results from this law. But let’s face it….this law will hurt some more than others.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM

See the bolded word and get real.

Schadenfreude on November 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM

No one needs to fill me in on reality. I’m in the first segment of the population getting screwed over with a cancelled plan. More will follow.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 11:52 AM

and watch John Bohner sell out again and agree to “fixes” until after the 2014 election.

katablog.com on November 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Reuters Politics ‏@ReutersPolitics 5m

White House confirms it will shift 2015 enrollment for Obamacare by one month; will now start on November 15, 2014 #breaking

https://twitter.com/ReutersPolitics

canopfor on November 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Obviously they’re all just a bunch of racists.

evergreen on November 22, 2013 at 12:37 PM

hillsoftx on November 22, 2013 at 8:21 AM

I wouldn’t bother calling them just yet. At the rate the hits keep coming you’ll relapse before the end of the day.

alchemist19 on November 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM

“Tens of millions of Americans will be experiencing the same shock — right before the midterms in which the bosses of these staffers have to stand for re-election.”

EXCEPT: HHS just delayed that requirement a month till AFTER the election. Another sneaky move.

boogieboy on November 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM

.this law will hurt some more than others.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM

This law will kill people, soon.

Schadenfreude on November 22, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Remember, dems are used to the other party picking up the tab…It is like the Feminist debutant discovering she now has to go Dutch…

JIMV on November 22, 2013 at 1:59 PM

PITY PARTY!!!!

myiq2xu on November 22, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Wait, urban elitist told us it’s just a software problem and the increased rates, deductibles, and millions of outright cancellations are just noise.

rogerb on November 22, 2013 at 8:38 AM

……wonderful!…..and my wife asks me why I go through the old threads…. of the day!

KOOLAID2 on November 22, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Government employees should be forced into coverage inferior to what they have now, with the wacky reason that we should “teach them” how the American people feel? Congress, yes…employees, no.

lynncgb on November 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

I’m okay with having a few classes of government employees forced into the exchanges, preferably without subsidies:

NPS rangers who enjoy tormenting elderly tourists and WWII veterans;
IRS officials who target political groups they disapprove of;
DOJ attorneys who don’t seem to know the law, who don’t enforce the law, or who break the law;
DOE officials who think Common Core is the best thing since the one-room schoolhouse;
EPA — well, all of the EPA.

Congressional staff who do the research, write the bills, hold the meetings, meet with the lobbyists, lobby their own boss for their ideological fantasies, and pat themselves on the back for being smarter than the rubes who don’t work in Washington — yeah, I’m okay with them getting hoisted by their own petards.

Employees in general, who are just doing a job, even though their paycheck comes out of the taxpayers’ pockets?

Let me think about it.

A long-needed constitutional amendment:

Congress must live by the same rules they impose on the nation.

I’ll vote for that.

AesopFan on November 22, 2013 at 9:07 PM