Since the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, became law in 2010, many interesting developments have transpired regarding it, but none more than these recent ones.
1. The law was passed with the specific language that members of Congress and staff would be subject to Obamacare. But recently the group that made this law is complaining that it would just be too disruptive and expensive if they lost their Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB).
2. Acting IRS Director Danny Werfel testified before Congress that he and IRS employees don’t want to be subject to the law they will be enforcing on the rest of us. Like Congress, they want to “keep what we have.”
3. A recent poll revealed that almost 93% of federal employees don‘t want to be subject to Obamacare. They want to keep FEHB subsidies.
4. Big unions, who lobbied aggressively for Obamacare, are now asking to be exempt because it won’t be as good as the very generous “Cadillac Plans” in their labor contracts.
In a recent online poll we asked small business owners what they thought about these positions on Obamacare. Only seven percent allowed that they didn’t care what government employees did because “Obamacare is okay with me.” In rich irony, the rest of our respondents said, “I agree with government employees, let me keep my current coverage too,” at the same rate as the government poll, 93%.
So the question is not about popularity; Obamacare is almost universally unpopular and, as we’re seeing, is increasingly so. The question is whether the powerful and well-connected who created, promoted, and will enforce this law will be allowed to weasel out of it.
We now know that, contrary to the law, President Obama will allow Congress and 10,000 staffers to continue to receive hefty FEHB subsidies. On my radio program I asked Stephen Moore, editorial board member of the Wall Street Journal, about which government employees would be subject to Obamacare. He said that was currently being determined because other than Congress, no federal employees were included in the law when it was written.
Over the next several months, we should pay close attention to those who think it’s okay to create, lobby for, and enforce a very unpopular law, but don’t want to be subject to it themselves – apparently without any sense of shame.
Meanwhile small businesses, who create over half of the U.S. economy and jobs, are not being considered for Obamacare exemptions.
Write this on a rock …What’s wrong with this picture?
Jim Blasingame is one of the world's leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship. He is the creator and award-winning host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The Small Business Advocate® Show. In addition to his weekly columns, Jim is the author of two books; Small Business is like a Bunch of Bananas and Three Minutes to Success.