The Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 – aka Obamacare. However, since the US Supreme Court declared that the penalty for not having health insurance is a tax, the Internal Revenue Service is the agency that has been designated to enforce Obamacare.
In lieu of the scandals rocking the IRS, having them enforce Obamacare is a rather scary concept. If they were able to target tea party, conservative, Christian and pro-life groups applying for non-profit status and target key Religious leaders, Republicans and Romney campaign contributors to unwarranted audits, how fairly are they going to enforce Obamacare?
We can already get a clue to the fair and unbiased enforcement of Obamacare by looking at their union stand on it. It seems that IRS employees, like many other federal employees, receive their health benefits from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). As such they will not be affected by Obamacare. They’ll have to enforce it on everyone except themselves. Fair, isn’t it?
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), is Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. Camp is currently trying to propose legislation that would force federal employees out of the FEHBP and into the insurance exchanges established by Obamacare. A spokesperson for Camp stated:
“If the ObamaCare exchanges are good enough for the hardworking Americans and small businesses the law claims to help, then they should be good enough for the president, vice president, Congress, and federal employees.”
“Camp has long believed every American ought to be exempt from the [Obamacare] law, which is why he supports full repeal.”
In other words, Camp believes that what’s good for the goose should also be good for the gander. It’s ironic that the people who passed Obamacare, those implementing it and those enforcing it are not subject to it? Camp feels that if all federal employees, from the President down the line have to live under the same rules of Obamacare that it will stand a better chance of being repealed.
However, Camp’s bill is not setting well with the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), who represents IRS employees. Their leaders of the union have drafted a form letter for union members to sign and send to their congressmen to try and block Camp’s bill. Part of the letter reads:
“I am a federal employee and one of your constituents. I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA),…”
“H.R. 1780 would put federal employees in a special class where they would be prohibited from receiving health insurance through their employer. It would treat federal employees differently from state and local government employees and most employees of large private sector companies who receive health insurance benefits through their employer. The primary purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to provide a marketplace for the sale and purchase of health insurance for those who do not have such coverage – not to take coverage away from employees who already receive it through their employers.”
“I work hard and am proud of the services that I provide to your constituents every day. One of the main benefits I receive as a federal employee is the ability to purchase health insurance coverage through the FEHBP with an employer contribution towards those benefits. Please let me know your views on this legislation. I look forward to hearing back from you.”
Let’s compare what’s fair and what isn’t. As of April of this year, the average salary for a federal employee was $78,500, plus they were able to obtain their health benefits through the FEHBP, whose rates are lower than most private providers. In comparison, the average household income is only $50,502 and that includes two person incomes added together and they have pay more already for their health insurance and for less coverage than federal employees.
Now many American households face losing their employer provided healthcare benefits by having their hours reduced by over 25% to less than 30 hours per week. The move to make more employees part-time may help employers save money, but it will definitely hurt millions of households and definitely lower the average household income.
And federal employees, including IRS workers, have the unmitigated gall to say that it’s not fair for them to have to be under the same national socialist healthcare system that they imposed on us and will enforce us to abide by?
I think it’s high time that our politicians and federal employees start living in the real world with the rest of us. Perhaps they’ll see that everything isn’t nearly as rosy and fine as Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama keep telling us it is. I encourage all of you to contact your congressman/woman and urge them to back Rep. Dave Camp’s bill to put all federal employees under Obamacare and let them see exactly what they’ve done to the rest of us.