The Corner

How Did Congress’s Fraudulent Applications for Obamacare Actually Work?

I got some additional questions about our article yesterday on the 5 Senate Republicans who blocked a subpoena of Congress’s fraudulent application to D.C.’s small-business health exchange. In particular, did all of Congress actually submit one application for Obamacare? And how, exactly, did that work?

It went like this: The amendment proposed by senator Chuck Grassley (R.,Ia.) during negotiations over the Affordable Care Act, which forces all members of Congress onto Obamacare, only covers congressional lawmakers and their personal staffs. According to Robert Moffit at the Heritage Foundation, Congressional Research Service employees, committee staff, Capitol Hill police, the Congressional Budget Office and other ancillary employees are not required to get their health care through an Obamacare exchange, and can legally maintain their employee health care contributions. The amendment strikes only at those in government who had the most involvement in Obamacare’s formulation and passage.

But that’s still a lot more than the 50 or fewer employees required to apply for health care as a small business under the D.C. “SHOP” exchange. There are 535 lawmakers in Congress, and two applications were filed: one for the House, and one for the Senate, each claiming to be small businesses. Those unredacted applications are the ones Louisiana senator David Vitter was trying to get his hands on. You can view the redacted applications, courtesy of Judicial Watch, here.

Update: A spokeswoman for senator Kelly Ayotte (R., Nh.), one of the 5 Republicans on the Small Business Committee who voted against the subpoena,e-mailed a statement to NR after yesterday’s publication:

Senator Ayotte believes the proper role of the Small Business Committee is to create a better climate for our nation’s entrepreneurs to grow and create jobs.

She has voted numerous times to repeal Obamacare for everyone and she believes the clearest way to stop the employer health insurance contribution is through legislation. She has voted against the administration’s ruling that allowed health insurance contributions and will continue to do so. As required by law, Senator Ayotte purchases her health insurance through the DC Obamacare exchange.

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