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Letter Thanking Senator Vitter for Proposing to Fix Congress's ObamaCare Exemption

September 14, 2013 J

Dear Senator Vitter:

On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, we thank you for introducing an amendment that would prohibit Congress from receiving special treatment for their health insurance premiums. Congress is supposed to live under the laws that it passes, but when it comes to the President’s health care law, it’s “Good for thee, but not for me.”

Clearly, the health care law was not ready for prime time when the President signed it into law. In the three years since, we’ve seen a long list of rewrites, exemptions, delays and waivers.  President Obama’s decision to provide Congress with relief from Section 1312(d)(3)(D) is just the latest of these administrative “fixes.” This is what happens when Congress passes a 2,000-page bill on Christmas Eve without reading it.

Including Congress and its staff in the provisions of the health care law is important because it exposes them to the experience they are putting another Americans through.  With enrollment in the health insurance exchanges quickly approaching, many on Capitol Hill worried—just like the millions of Americans they represent—that their health costs would go up and whether they would lose their employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Congress should have responded by finding a solution that works for all Americans, but instead they got a special deal for themselves.

AFP has additional concerns about the balance of power in Washington. Obama’s action to benefit the political class is the latest example of this administration doing whatever it wants, regardless of whether it has the authority to do so. The Office of Personnel Management overstepped its authority when it carried out the President’s request to exempt Congress from the requirements of the health care law. Changing laws is the responsibility of the legislative branch, not the executive.

Members of Congress should not get special protection from the negative impacts of a law that is currently burdening the rest of the country.  The law was poorly thought out and poorly written.  Instead of using dubious administrative authority to provide relief for the politically well connected, the law must be repealed.

Sincerely,

Americans for Prosperity

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