8:11 am, May 23, 2015

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  • how much longer until.....
    Congress, in what they thought was a symbolic move, decided to remove itself from the FEHBP and enter into the health exchanges with most Americans. Good gesture right? They passed the law so if it's good for the American people then it's good for Congress as well. Thankfully Congress left the rest of us under the FEHBP (for now). Then Congress decides to carve out an exemption to ensure they continue to get the subsidy they enjoyed under the FEHBP. This is where they screwed up and why I think the rest of us feds will eventually pay the price. Folks in the real world who liked their plan prior to Obamacare and also benefited from their employer covering some of the costs are now being forced into the exchanges. If their income level is too high they will have to pay the entire cost of the premiums without any subsidy from the government. Congress makes pretty good money yet they carve out an exemption so they can get a subsidy that ordinary folks are not entitled to. Major mistake! Since Congress decided to take itself out of the FEHBP and join the health exchanges then they should be bound by the same income rules for the subsidies. Why should a Congressman who makes 170K get a 72% subsidy while someone who makes half that gets nothing? Eventually the spotlight will be on the rest of the federal workforce. Many feds, especially in the DC area make six figure salaries. How many SESers are there in the government? They make close to what Congress makes. I can see the news stories now assuming all feds make six figure salaries and questioning why we get a 72% subsidy when ordinary folks who make less get nothing. Since Congress is no longer covered by the FEHBP they won't be as likely to stick up for us and save the program. I hope I'm wrong, but this is setting up to be one of those unintended consequences of Obamacare. I'm not going to complain about the 2014 premiums because we could be paying the entire amount not too far down the road.
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