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Dems Say They Aren’t Seeking O-Care Carve-Out

From the Politico:

Obamacare exemption talk lights up Capitol Hill

By JAKE SHERMAN | April 25, 2013

The Obamacare war is on in Congress.

A top aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent an email to Democratic offices Thursday afternoon, warning that “Republican trackers” are on Independence Avenue asking lawmakers about the effort to rework which health care insurance members of Congress must use.

One Democratic leadership aide said trackers were asking lawmakers if they thought “it’s OK for members of Congress to be exempt from Obamacare?”

How outrageous? But how come "Republican trackers" have to ask these questions, and not our so-called journalists?

POLITICO reported Wednesday that top congressional leaders were discussing revisions to the law, to clarify how lawmakers and staff enter exchanges and how much they would have to pay.

Actually, the Politico reported that these were top secret high level discussions that were very close to reaching an agreement.

Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s communications director, sent around talking points to counter GOP charges that Democrats were trying to shield themselves from Affordable Care Act costs that ordinary Americans will be faced with.

Democrats say that any fix would simply be leveling the playing field, not special treatment for lawmakers or staffers.

“Due to vague language inserted in the Affordable Care Act by Senator Chuck Grassley, not all congressional staff and Members of Congress are treated the same under the law,” Hammill wrote, noting that “no one is suggested anyone be ‘exempted’ from the ACA.”

They are blaming the Republicans.

Hammill added that, “Leader Pelosi has suggested as a possible fix to the Grassley language that all Members and all staff (committee, leadership and personal office) be required to choose exchange plans through the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan. This fix would not require legislation and could be dealt with administratively and would not exempt Members or staff from any part of the ACA.”

Er, if they are going through the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan then they are not going through Obama-Care. So they are exempting themselves from Obama-Care.

Pelosi told reporters Thursday that she has been in “close contact” with her deputy, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), about his talks to tweak health benefits for congressional lawmakers and aides…

Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), issued a statement Thursday that said his party wasn’t seeking a special legislative carve out…

Of course, we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that both Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid are pathological liars.

Republicans are happy to point the finger at Democrats, saying the issue is yet another sign Obamacare needs to go. House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman said it’s up to Democrats to solve the problem.

“The speaker would like to see resolution of this problem, along with the other nightmares created by Washington Democrats’ health law, which is why he supports full repeal,” said Michael Steel. “In the meantime, it is Democrats’ problem to solve. He will not sneak any language into bills to solve it for them — and the Democratic leadership knows that.”

Two GOP lawmakers Thursday floated bills that would expand the roster of people who have to join the exchanges to include President Barack Obama.

Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) introduced an amendment to the online tax bill that would force the president, vice president, political appointees and some congressional staff to register for insurance exchanges. It would also “reiterate that Members of Congress and their staff must enroll into the Obamacare exchanges,” according to Vitter’s office.

In the House, fellow Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy introduced a bill – the “In it All Together Act” – that would force the president and Cabinet secretaries onto the exchanges.

“My staff and I are prepared to go on the exchanges, as bad as they might be, because that’s what many Americans will have to do,” Cassidy said in a statement. “The president and his staff should do the same.”

We don’t need any bills. As even the Politico pointed out last month: "in the days following the passage of the health law in March 2010, the White House confirmed that Obama planned to walk the walk by enrolling in one of the health insurance exchanges his law created, assuming his reelection.

“The president will participate in the exchange,” an administration spokesman told USA Today at the time, rejecting Republican efforts to compel the president to do so by law."

Meanwhile, here is a possibly related story, from the UK’s Guardian:

Chinese official sacked after ‘citizen journalists’ expose extravagant banquet

Video and pictures of lavish dinner emerge after campaigners gatecrash event hosted by Communist boss in Jiangsu province

Jonathan Kaiman | 25 April 2013

Zhang Aihua did what he could to appease the outraged mob that burst into his private party, shocked as they were to witness tables strewn with rare Yangtze river fish and imported wine. He knelt on a table, picked up a loudhailer, and begged for forgiveness.

As the Communist party boss of an industrial zone in Taizhou City, in the south-east of Jiangsu province, Zhang probably knew that this revelation of official profligacy would cost him his job. "I was wrong tonight. Please forgive me. I’ll do anything if you let me go," he pleaded, according to state media.

But his pleas went unheeded. When Zhang was fired on Monday, he became the latest victim of president Xi Jinping’s frugality and anti-corruption drive – an effort fuelled in no small part by an exasperated public set on exposing the country’s extreme wealth gap with mobile phone cameras and microblogs.

"I was outside and saw a lot of people, so rushed up to see what the commotion was," said Jia Hongwei, a web forum administrator in Taizhou who captured the video at the industrial park’s "entertainment centre" where Zhang was hosting at least 20 colleagues and investors around three well-stocked tables.

Jia’s video shows a rambunctious flow of people cascading through narrow hallways and blowing past a smattering of helpless police officers in white safety helmets. The camera hones in on plates of mostly-eaten fish – poisonous pufferfish, long-tailed anchovy and largehead hairtail, according to onlookers – as well as top-shelf bottles of Chinese rice liquor and Australian Yellowtail wine.

Jia said that locals would often witness a steady flow of luxury cars streaming in and out of the complex, alerting them to the extravagance within. They learned of Zhang’s banquet from an unidentified whistleblower. "Every room in the centre had a banquet, and each banquet included abalone and other expensive dishes," Jia said…

Zhang paid for most of the meal, which cost more than £700 [$1,082] , state media cited an unnamed whistleblower as saying – well over the spending limit on official banquets imposed by central authorities last year.

Since Xi launched his anti-corruption drive in November, scores of officials have been sacked for malfeasance, sales of luxury goods have plummeted nationwide and high-end restaurants have reported dismal returns. Yet some analysts say that the drive has simply pushed lavish official banquets and venal gift-giving underground…

Wouldn’t it be nice if our ‘journalists’ would try this in our country? Maybe then we wouldn’t need to count on ‘Republican trackers.’ But, unfortunately, our news media are the corrupt regime’s praetorian guard.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, April 26th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Dems Say They Aren’t Seeking O-Care Carve-Out”

  1. yadayada says:

    remember, they had to pass it to find out what’s in it. well, they’re simply sitting together reading the law to find out how it effects them.

    I admit I haven’t read the monstrous bill, but I’m sure that our fearless leaders are only attempting to construct an “exchange” that will; apply only to them, require no premiums, provide the highest quality benefits, no restrictions, lifetime memberships, maximum flexibility, front of line privileges, etc.
    after all, once it’s put into effect -then you may “create your exchange”.

  2. Noyzmakr says:

    “Zhang paid for most of the meal, which cost more than £700 [$1,082] ”

    A thousand dollars for 20 people? They call that extravagant?


    Moochelle spends more on toilet paper for her entourage.

    If our leaders were ONLY as corrupt as this Chinese official we would be swimming in cash.

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