Zombie Trumpcare is back, stomping around Capitol Hill and terrorizing everyone. And by “everyone” I mean Republican lawmakers who created the thing and their staff. So they exempted themselves from it. Sarah Kliff from Vox has the details.
The new Republican amendment, introduced Tuesday night, would allow states to waive out of Obamacare’s ban on pre-existing conditions. This means that insurers could once again, under certain circumstances, charge sick people higher premiums than healthy people.
Republican legislators liked this policy well enough to offer it in a new amendment. They do not, however, seem to like it enough to have it apply to themselves and their staff. A spokesperson for Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) who authored this amendment confirmed this was the case: members of Congress and their staff would get the guarantee of keeping these Obamacare regulations. Health law expert Tim Jost flagged me to this particular issue. […]
If Congressional aides lived in a state that decided to waive these protections, the aides who were sick could be vulnerable to higher premiums than the aides that are healthy. Their benefits package could get skimpier as Obamacare’s essential health benefits requirement may no longer apply either.
This apparently does not sound appealing because the Republican amendment includes the members of Congress and their staff as a protected group who cannot be affected by this amendment.
That will sure go over well with the folks back home! And make the moderate Republicans who hate the whole bill flock to it. Except for the ones who are still opposed, like Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida.
Rep. Mark Meadows, the Freedom Caucus guy from North Carolina who has been flogging the bill with the White House, has tried to say this isn’t really a thing because everyone in Congress is on the D.C. exchange and it’s not a state so it doesn’t get a waiver. This is not true. Many have coverage from their home state. Or the provision wouldn’t be there.