The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the need for members of Congress to live under the same rules and laws that they impose on American citizens. As you probably know, the Senate failed once again on a straight repeal of Obamacare.
Seven Senators who are Republican in name only (RINO) voted to keep Obamacare even though they promised for the past seven years that they would repeal it. This plan would not end Obamacare immediately because it would have given Congress two years to replace it. The seven RINO Senators who broke with Republican leadership are: Lamar Alexander (R-TN.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Susan Collins (R-MA), Dean Heller, R-NV., John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Rob Portman (R-OH). The Senate later voted on a “skinny” plan, and three of the RINOs voted “no” on it: John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-MA).
Obamacare has never been good for working Americans although it does provide some medical help for those who are not working. Republicans have pledged to repeal it for years – and even passed bills to end it several times. Yet, when their votes really matter, some Republicans refuse to follow through on their promises.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, President Donald Trump and conservatives are livid at the RINOs betrayal of trust. This writer is pleased to learn that Mr. Trump is considering what conservatives have been suggesting: cancelling the health care benefits that Congress currently enjoys and making them live under the law they forced upon the rest of Americans.
It [Trump’s tweet] was also the first to mention that he [Trump] was open to another idea proposed by conservative activists to pull lawmakers back to the task of a health-care bill: cutting off their existing health benefits.
Activists including Heritage Action, the political arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation, have proposed that Mr. Trump’s administration change a rule promulgated by the Office of Personnel Management during the Obama administration that allows members of Congress and their staff to obtain subsidized insurance alongside other Washington, D.C., small businesses.
That rule has been the subject of significant contention for years, with some lawmakers contending that it is an end-run around a provision in the 2010 health law that requires members of Congress to get their health coverage like other Americans. Lawmakers and their aides get a hefty subsidy from their employer – Congress – when they buy coverage through the D.C. online insurance exchange, which critics contend is unique to them. Defenders of the rule argue that the provision was never intended to force members of Congress or their aides to lose the employer-sponsored health benefits that many people get on the job.
Heritage Action – and other people including this writer – believe that cutting the health benefits of members of Congress and their staff would “focus their attention” on legislating a suitable health care law for all Americans. Michael Needham, head of Heritage Action, states the following in an opinion piece published this week.
With the long-promised goal of repealing Obamacare and providing relief from the failing law slowly slipping away because of liberal intransigence, senators should finally subject themselves to the same burdens imposed upon their constituents. Maybe then they would come around to begin delivering on their longstanding promise.
This writer says “let’s do it!” It is time that members of Congress realized that they are elected to do the work of the people. They are sent to Washington to legislate laws that will be fair and just to all Americans.