One of the nasty little secrets that our fearless members of Congress try to keep from the public is that they often exempt themselves from the provisions of the laws under which the rest of us must live. It’s not that hard to do as long as nobody blows the whistle. After all, when was the last time you read a proposed law in its entirety?
Of course, that’s assuming that the thing is even available for us to read. Proposed legislation should be available for public review on the web. Then again we recall then Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s brilliant statement that Congress would have to vote on Obamacare before they could learn what’s inside of it. It’s really difficult to think of a more stupid comment she could have made.
It turns out that members of Congress might have some exemptions from Obamacare that make the law a bit more palatable to our leaders. No surprises there. However, what could be a surprise are the results of an investigation into this matter lead by Senator Ron Johnson. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) would be the folks who could answer these questions, and they have until October 18 to respond or they will be subpoenaed to appear before Johnson’s Senate Homeland Security Committee to testify.
“Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson is threatening to subpoena a federal agency for information on an Obama-era policy that allows members of Congress and their staff to get around a key ObamaCare requirement.
“The policy lets Capitol Hill officials buy health care with a government subsidy on a small-business exchange. Republicans like Johnson have long described this as an ObamaCare exemption, but have struggled to extract details about how it came to be.
“Johnson, R-Wis., escalated his push for answers in a letter Wednesday to Office of Personnel Management Acting Director Kathleen McGettigan.
“‘The American people have a right to know how and why OPM exempted Members of Congress from the full impact of ObamaCare,’ Johnson wrote.”
This is one of those nasty issues that has the potential to make a number of people look bad, not the least of which Mr. Obama and the OPM under his leadership.
One part of the problem is that it rightly annoys citizens to no end to see members of Congress and their staffs acting as an elite segment of America, above the laws and regulations with which the rest of us must contend. And this has the potential to negatively impact a politician’s next campaign, a dreadful thought if there ever was one.
“Johnson said he had received an ‘insufficient’ response to an August letter, warning: ‘If OPM does not produce the entirety of the information and materials requested in my August 16 letter by October 18, 2017, the Committee may be forced to consider the use of compulsory process.’
“‘Compulsory process’ is congressional code for subpoenas. Johnson also is seeking transcribed interviews with five officials.
“Johnson specifically wants to know about the process used to avoid a provision calling on congressional lawmakers and their staff to buy ObamaCare plans.”
The OPM is in a difficult position, and that’s a good thing. Transparency is typically something to be desired from our government. It’s acts as a restraint against abuses of power, such as Senator Johnson might have just discovered.
It’s easy to think of a number of other entities where some transparency would be helpful and extremely revealing, such as the Federal Reserve. However, one must begin somewhere, and that somewhere involves abuse of Obamacare requirements by members of Congress. That sounds like a great place to start.
Source: Fox News