Sen. Johnson to File Suit over Congressional Subsidies
By Hadley Heath
ObamaCare has a new legal headache, and his name is Senator Ron Johnson.
Sunday the Wisconsin Senator announced that he will file a lawsuit against the Office of Personnel Management over a decision to grant Members of Congress and their staffs a special subsidy to purchase insurance through the Obamacare exchanges.
Here’s a little background:
In the summer of 2013, Senate Democrats met with President Obama to address an amendment in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that required members of Congress and their staffs to access health insurance through the law's exchanges. The outcome of these backdoor meetings was a ruling from the Office of Personnel Management that gave members a choice: Keep your staff on the FEHBP or move them into the exchanges (with a generous, one-of-a-kind subsidy).
In either case, Congress is getting special treatment. And Americans, regardless of their political predilections, recoil from this kind of favoritism. When Independent Women's Voice conducted polling on this issue, 92% of respondents answered that this was unfair.
In fact, part of Sen. Johnson’s argument that he has standing (that is, that he has been harmed) is to show that this illegal rule has created an alienation between him and his constituents.
The text of the Affordable Care Act requires Congress to obtain their health insurance as other Americans do, without special treatment. The OPM rule contradicts the law, and the Administration isn’t authorized to make this change. You can read more about this new lawsuit here, and watch Sen. Johnson’s press conference about it here.