When folks see me out and about, I am so humbled when they say they wish I was back up on Capitol Hill fighting for the American people. Well, if and when God wishes, if that is His will, it will occur.
But right now the U.S. House and Senate are on their summer recess while President Obama is on summer vacay in Martha’s Vineyard and Veep Biden is hanging out in Hilton Head South Carolina pondering a run for president. No one is watching the store while we have mines blowing up South Korean soldiers, the U.S. Consulate in Instanbul is being attacked, ISIS is blowing up “apostate” prisoners with bombs they dug into the ground and the Taliban attacked a U.S. Special Operations base in Kabul Afghanistan. I am reminded of the Founding Father quote: “Nothing so greatly compels a man to regard the interest of his constituents than the certainly of returning to the general mass of the people from when they were taken where they must share in their burdens.”
That quote came from George Mason at the Virginia ratifying convention for our Constitution. It was never the intent of our Founding Fathers to have career politicians — and recess meant for citizen-legislators to return home to their “regular” jobs. Well, I have a topic about which you, the constituent, should be inquiring of your representatives.
As reported by CNSNews.com, “Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives certified that they had only 45 employees each in order to sign up for the District of Columbia’s Small Business Exchange. But 12,359 – or 86 percent of the exchange’s enrollees – are members of Congress, congressional staff members, and their spouses and dependents, according to an appeal filed with the D.C. Court of Appeals by Judicial Watch.
The public interest law firm announced Monday that it is appealing the February dismissal of its lawsuit challenging congressional participation in the Obamacare exchange even though the D.C. Exchange Act limits enrollment to small companies with 50 or fewer employees. “Congress obviously has far more than 50 employees,” Judicial Watch attorney Michael Bekesha pointed out in his opening brief. “It has thousands of employees.”
Congress enrolled in the small business exchange when its previous coverage under the Federal Employee Health Benefits plan was terminated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and congressional employees stood to lose thousands of dollars in “employer contributions” if they enrolled in the District’s individual exchange.
According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives both certified that they “employ 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees.”
Folks, I really am NOT making this up. Apparently, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate declared themselves a small business in order to shop for healthcare in the government exchange. Remember the Obamacare rule about over than 50 employees places you in a different healthcare requirement mandate? Of course to me down here in Dallas, Texas, this probably has little impact other than principle, but if you’re a DC resident, you should care. Here’s why.
“In October 2013, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a final rule that provides an “employer contribution” covering about three-quarters of the premiums of congressional employees enrolled in the small business exchange starting Jan. 1, 2014. The OPM rule “allowed at least 12,359 congressional employees and their spouses and dependents to obtain health insurance through the Small Business Exchange…These 12,359 participants represent an astonishing 86% of the Small Business Exchange’s total enrollment,” the appeal states. Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit last October on behalf of Kirby Vining, a D.C. resident since 1986, who objected to the expenditure of municipal funds to insure congressional employees in an exchange that was established specifically for small employers in the District.”
So, during this August recess, besides the Iranian deal, we should probably be asking our Representatives and Senators to ‘splain this to me, Lucy! How can our federal government declare itself a small business? Who on Capitol Hill came up with this slick plan? It sure seems to me this is a bipartisan issue.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is having adverse ramifications for our small business owners. What a blatant slap in their faces to find out their U.S. Congress classified itself as a small business in order to attain healthcare coverage which is backed by the American taxpayer. And folks wonder why the American people are just fed up?
What happened with this lawsuit? It was dismissed! “D.C. Superior Court Judge Herbert Dixon ruled that Vining had no standing to challenge the OPM rule because he “has not demonstrated a reasonable inference that municipal taxpayer funds have been appropriated to defendant exchange authority to establish a cognizable injury to maintain standing to bring his underlying complaint.” Dixon also ruled that the OPM rule preempts the D.C. Exchange Act, noting that “allowing members of Congress and their staff to participate in the District’s small business health options program is authorized by federal regulations.”
I know, it feels like absolutely no one is looking out for you, the hard working American taxpayer. Clearly the regulatory administrative state shields itself but brings to bear its full power against the small business owners struggling to stay afloat and meet payroll.
This is just another indicator that we have no champion for the American people. To put it in plain speak, “Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said that allowing Congress to enroll in an exchange meant for small businesses is both “unlawful and unethical.” It is an abuse of District taxpayers to use D.C. funds to subsidize illegal health insurance for Congress. It is unlawful and unethical for District officials to use local dollars to participate in Congress’s Obamacare fraud. The highest court in the District of Columbia must affirm the right of District taxpayers to protect their monies from being misappropriated by corrupt District officials.”
There is a storm brewing, and it is against the growing political elite class in America. This is something that encompasses both political parties, enabled by a willing and complicit media, and allies in the entertainment industry. If this were happening in the days before Americans could see it — not because of government transparency, but because more of us are looking into it — we would be lost. Is there any doubt as to why the government wants to exert its control over the internet?
America is a Constitutional Republic with a representative democratic process. The power is with the individual citizen — and that power is becoming a powder keg under pressure. This nation needs citizen-legislators, men and women who understand servant-leadership, seeking to serve the people, and not be served by them.
We are so out of bounds for what we were entrusted to care, recalling the famed words of Benjamin Franklin, “you have a Republic, if you can keep it.”