Monday, April 19, 2010

Congress scores another own-goal with ObamaCare

Daily Caller
Congress may be fined tens of millions of dollars a year under its own health-care law, in part because the bill dumps members of Congress and their staffs from their current health-care plans. But no one really knows for sure what the bill does, not even the experts. For instance, exactly who qualifies as an “employer”—and therefore is subject to fines up to $3,000 per employee—is undefined in the bill. If Congress were subject to a $3,000 fine for each of its employees, it would need to shell out approximately $50 million each year to Uncle Sam. Congress’s research arm, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), informally confirmed the possibility to Republican aides. ... “That’s the irony — here we may be the first major employer in the country to be fined for not providing proper health insurance for our employees,” Rep. Dan Lungren, California Republican, told The Daily Caller while laughing. “Isn’t that contrary to the very premise of the bill?” State and local governments may be on the hook for the fines, but unlike for members of Congress and their staffs, the health-care bill doesn’t specifically dump them from their health-care plans. Before Congress incurs any fines, a complex series of events would be required to happen under the law. Generally speaking, an lower-tier aide — one not making a six-figure salary like some 2,000 House employees — would have to apply for government subsidies. The way the law works is that employers incur a $2,000 or $3,000 fine for each employee, depending on the circumstances, if only one of their employees obtains the subsidies. So one lowly staff assistant could think he’s just getting some health-care help, while actually triggering a $50 million annual fine for Congress.
No one deserves it more. They just had to pass ObamaCare in a panic, because the facts would get out if they took time to read it. But who will pay? You and me. Via Reason Magazine

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