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  • Posted January 14, 2014 by

    More from TheTruth53

    ObamaCare is Good Enough for You, but Not for Me, Pertaining to Obama's Capital Hill Aides"

    "Survey: Obamacare worries Hill aides" by Seung Min Kim, January 13, 2014

    A vast majority of top congressional aides say in a new survey that they are concerned about the effects of Obamacare on their staff, ticking off worries about changes to their benefits, higher costs and whether they’ll have access to local health care providers.

    Ninety percent of staffers surveyed for a report released Monday by the Congressional Management Foundation said they are concerned about benefit changes under the health care law, while 86 percent are anxious about the financial hit and 79 percent cited worries to access.

    Only about 35 percent of staffers said they have a “good understanding” of the changes to their health care plan under Obamacare, according to the survey. Under the health care law, all members of Congress and most congressional aides were required to enroll in the exchanges instead of staying on their federal health care plan.

    “The elimination of staff’s traditional health care has been a complete disaster,” one aide said in the survey. “If you wanted a legislative branch run by K Street lobbyists and 25-year-old staffers, mission accomplished.”

    Another staffer in the survey was diagnosed with breast cancer in September and was hit with changes in health care coverage in the middle of radiation treatments, according to the report.

    “Getting insured through the D.C. exchange is not helpful – my choices are very limited and costs are high,” the staffer said. “As a result, I’ve gone on my husband’s plan. My staff don’t necessarily have that option.”

    Of the 163 aides who participated in the survey — which included House and Senate chiefs of staff, House district directors and Senate state directors — 79 percent said it was likely that the health care changes could contribute to staff exits. Fifty-two percent of those who responded worked in a Democratic office, while 48 percent were from GOP offices. The response rate for the survey was 15 percent.

    In the surveys, aides warned of a brain drain that could hit Capitol Hill because of the new requirements for health care under Obamacare – while younger staffers tended to save money on their premiums, many older aides say their costs will rise. A person’s age is among the few factors under the health care law that insurance companies can use to set prices.

    “With the changes in health care this year, even with [the] subsidy from Congress, my insurance will more than double with the deductible more than doubling as well,” one aide wrote in the survey. “That is for 3 people. How is this affordable? The entire staff is in this same position.”

    The nonpartisan Congressional Management Foundation, a nonprofit group that helps Capitol Hill improve its operations, conducted the survey between Nov. 18 and Dec. 6, the height of the Obamacare enrollment period for staffers that was plagued with technical glitches and confusion about the new policies. Lawmakers and qualifying aides were required to sign up by Dec. 9 to keep the employer contribution to their health benefits, which can cover up to 75 percent of the total costs.

    “When you freeze salaries, eliminate bonuses and change their health care benefits, it’s folly to think that it’s not going to have an impact on the workforce,” said Bradford Fitch, the president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation.

    Unless they work in a leadership or committee office, congressional staffers must enroll in the Obamacare exchange. But some offices voluntarily left their federal health benefits program. An example is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who required all of her aides to enroll under Obamacare although her leadership aides could have kept their existing plans.

    The matter of Obamacare benefits for lawmakers and staff has been a political football on Capitol Hill, particularly as Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) loudly pressed for months to get rid of those generous contributions.

    And the issue is going to court – Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is now suing the Office of Personnel Management over its decision to allow the federal government to continue providing contributions to health care plans for lawmakers and aides.

    “The move by some members to eliminate the employer contribution has also not been well-received,” one staffer said in the Congressional Management Foundation survey. “Everyone felt as if we were pawns in this political argument.”

    © 2014 POLITICO LLC


    Selected comments:

    "My only question is how, how did this man get to be president? He does not have a single accomplishment. Far from what the press suggests, he is not likeable. He is cold, distant, and rude. He feels that he is superior to almost anyone, yet he has no serious accomplishments and gets few things right. He is systematically destroying our economy and our children's future. If he is reelected, he will have nothing to keep him from completely transforming America into a garbage heap."-Alleena

    "Alleena, I am saving your post because (A) it sums the current situation up very nicely, and (B) as a reminder of the important and consequences of reelecting this rotten apple. I live outside Chicago. The simple fact that a man with no practical experience in any area of life AND no accomplishments in any area of life - could be elected to the president of the United States shows how desperate so many people were in electing "an African American to The White House." For so many people not to reach beneath the color of Barack Obama's skin, and see there is nothing there, astounds me. For every college kid at my church to vote for him because he is "cool," "hip" shows how stupid "America's Future" really is, and also, an indictment on our public education system. The fact that no mainstream media source even bothered to vet this candidate, and see what an empty suit he really is, but now wants to dig up dirt on Romney clearly indicates what we are up against. But take heart, our side is energized, we know what the stakes are. And if enough of those idiots, we call our young people, still don't have any jobs this fall, perhaps they won't turn out and vote for "the community activist."- strongmind

    YouTube: "65 Outrageous Lies by President Obama" by EastCountyUndergroun, Sep 14, 2011

    YouTube: “Exodus: Inner-City Blacks Abandoning Obama & Democrat's Liberal Agenda" uploaded by Rebel Pundit, Oct 29, 2012

    YouTube: "Valerie Jarrett Was Slum Lord in Obama's State Senate District" by Kris Zane, May 19, 2012

    YouTube: "Obama says, Shake It Off! Stop Complaining! To Black Supporters" uploaded LuvWorkingAtHome, June 30,2012

    CNN I-Report: “Graduating Magna cum Laude from Harvard Law School is not alone proof of competency.” by Unique81

    YouTube: "65 Outrageous Lies by President Obama" by EastCountyUndergroun, Sep 14, 2011

    CNN i-Report: "No other U.S. President in the History of the U.S. would be meeting with Illegal Aliens. Illegal Alien's don't have the Right to Vote, and Elected Officials are not Mandated by Law and Sworn Under Oath to Serve Illegal Aliens! " by TheTruth53

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