In November 2010, a significant number of members of Congress were ousted from their posts because of their votes for the passage of ObamaCare earlier that year. This year, quite a number of lawmakers may also be leaving their jobs as a result of the healthcare legislation — except this time, it’s voluntary: in fear of the rising costs of their health insurance premiums.
The provision at issue is called the Grassley Amendment, which states that the government may offer members of Congress and their staff only health insurance plans that are “created” in the bill or “offered through an exchange.”
Currently, aides and lawmakers are covered under a very generous federal health insurance package whereby the government subsidizes approximately 75 percent of the premiums for the health insurance plans.
But Politico explains why dozens of lawmakers are considering retiring early or simply quitting:
Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive.
Sources said several aides have already given lawmakers notice that they’ll be leaving over concerns about Obamacare. Republican and Democratic lawmakers said the chatter about retiring now, to remain on the current health care plan, is constant.
Politico notes that Democrats and Republicans in Congress are awaiting specific details from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on the ObamaCare provision that will do away with government-subsidized premiums. A decision on that rule is expected by fall.
However, if the issue is not resolved, there is some speculation that there will be a mass exodus of lawmakers and aides from Capitol Hill, just as Congress is supposed to be addressing significant legislation such as immigration.
The issue may be even more dire for members of the House, as they are typically less wealthy than those in the Senate.
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