As Republican leaders in Congress were publicly fuming about congressional exemptions from ObamaCare, leaked documents show that GOP House Speaker John Boehner’s (shown front, center) office spent months working with top Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (shown front, right) to ensure that lawmakers and their staff would be spared from the deeply unpopular healthcare “reforms.” Critics say the e-mails, first given to Politico as an act of political retaliation, have once again exposed the political theater in Washington, D.C., for what it is — mostly a show put on for the public by two wings of the same establishment. Still, the real story is not Boehner, Reid, or even their hypocrisy, it is the bigger picture: A Congress that is deceptive, manipulative, and completely out of control.
The original so-called Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare, required that lawmakers and their staffs join the controversial healthcare exchanges created by the scheme, which was rammed through Congress in defiance of the public and the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution. If that part of the statute had remained in place, huge contributions from taxpayers to provide health insurance for members of Congress and their staffers — estimated at up to $12,000 per year per family — would have ended. While Democrat lawmakers who passed ObamaCare insisted it was good enough for the American people, the plan was apparently not worthy of the exalted political class in Washington.
The e-mails from Boehner’s office show that the speaker, who under heavy pressure has finally moved beyond rhetoric by making efforts to protect the American people from ObamaCare using the power of the purse, spent months working with Democrat leadership to exempt lawmakers from the healthcare schemes. Indeed, this summer, the e-mails show, Boehner and Reid were plotting to organize a secret meeting with Obama to deal with the issue. Because it would almost certainly spark another wave of public outrage, Boehner’s chief of staff even agreed to use a deceptive cover story to conceal the true purpose of the meeting: plotting to save Congress from ObamaCare.
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Photo of John Boehner and Harry Reid: AP Images