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Letter to the editor: Obama Care, Congress & Scott Tipton

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017

It should be obvious to anyone who has done the homework regarding Donald Trump, that in reality, he is really an independent candidate, who through his enormous grassroots public support, secured the nomination of the not so conservative Republican Party; and in so doing, ultimately prevailed to become the 45th President of the United States. That said, for the next four years President Trump’s greatest battles will be with his own party. Because the Republican establishment is not so different from the Democratic establishment, as both organizations are the party of government regardless of the fiscal consequences to the nation as a whole.

Given what I just said, is it not surprising therefore that the Republican Party is beginning to balk at repealing Obama Care? Because in their heart of hearts regardless of their past votes they really do not want to rescind The Affordable Health Care Act. This is due primarily to fear of reprisals from their constituents coupled with some of the benefits they now enjoy as government officials.

Now rather than engage in a urination contest with those who support Obama Care even though we are bankrupt, and running trillion dollar annual deficits at the federal level if off budget spending is included, and on the hook for more than 210 trillion in future spending mandated by law.

I thought it best to stage my attack by pointing out how Obama Care relates to Congress on a personal level; and in particular, to Scott Tipton (R) who is the federal congressional representative for most of Southern Colorado including the San Luis Valley. Now Mr. Tipton has voted numerous times for Obama Care, (not directly but indirectly) as it is one of many funded items buried in the final budget bill or continuing resolutions (omnibus), and he is not alone, as many Republicans have chosen a similar path. So here it goes!

Originally, back in the days before Obama Care came along, all congressional representative and senators together with much of their senior staff had three quarters of all their health care premiums paid for by the federal government. Now when Obama Care came along, a Republican senator (Vitter of Louisiana) attached an amendment to the law that would have put the entire Congress under Obama care (as should have been the case). However, the Democrats (and probably some Republicans too) balked, because under Obama Care anyone making more than $80,000 per year, or four times the poverty level (like a senator or a congressman) would not qualify for government subsidies and would therefore have to pay the majority of their premiums out of pocket. President Obama therefore on behalf of many in Congress, prevailed over the office of Personnel Management in the White House and got them to declare Congress as a “small business”, (ridiculous) therefore exempting them from Obama Care. Now what this means practically is that Congress has their healthcare as it originally was, that is before Obama Care became law, with three quarters of all their premiums paid for by the federal government and no hassling with exchanges (Morris 2017).

What makes this even more disgusting is that the average Congressional representative makes around $174,000 per year. (Morris 2017) This means that Tipton and his fellow Congressional representative make about $6,000 or more every two weeks after taxes (not bad). Now if that were not enough, they make this kind of money with three quarters of all their healthcare premiums paid for them by the federal government, rather than having it taken out of their paychecks (can you believe that)! On top of this, they get some of the best insurance plans available. Unbelievable!

If President Trump is truly interested in dealing with Obama Care together with bypassing the weak and ineffective Congress, one very simple way would be for the president to repeal Obama’s executive order which exempts Congress from Obama Care. What this would mean is that all congressmen, senators and many senior staffers would have to pay around $10,000-15,000 more per year to cover their premiums (as they should under the law). This would then force both parties to deal in a concrete way with the Affordable Healthcare Act. Moreover, if not repealing Obama Care, at least defunding many of the financial penalties associated with the law including the individual mandate, while at the same time continuing to fund the portion that people have already signed up for. This I think would be a great start.

Most people who have read my opinions in the past know that I support a Convention of The States per Article 5 of the Constitution. Of all the Amendments considered at such a convention, the greatest of these would be an Amendment to the Constitution forcing Congress to live under all the laws of the land. This one amendment if agreed upon by a super majority of states though their legislators and added to the Constitution would I believe, change the landscape of the United States forever, by truly returning the government back to the people. Pass this editorial around and get informed! Article five people, article five. stevenforchange@gmail.com

Steven Howard

Monte Vista

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