Congressman Tom Cotton

Representing the 4th District of Arkansas
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ICYMI: No Washington Exemption from Obamacare Press Conference

Sep 12, 2013
Cotton Blog
Obamacare states that Members of Congress and their staffs are required to enter into the health-insurance exchanges established by Obamacare.  This language was included to ensure that Members of Congress would be forced to abide by the same law as everyone else. But in a blatant display of political favoritism, the Obama administration recently announced that the federal government would offer subsidies to Members of Congress and their staffs to help offset the costs associated with entering these exchanges.  My colleague, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and I introduced a bill in the House that would prevent Members of Congress and their staffs from receiving these subsidies. Further, the bill would require President Obama and all executive branch staff members to enter into the healthcare exchanges as well. On Tuesday we joined Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) who have introduced companion legislation in the Senate for a press conference on this legislation. My remarks, as delivered, are below.
“We all heard during the August recess from so many Americans whose families have lost their health insurance and had to buy new health insurance. Maybe they’ve lost their job because an employer is trying to comply with the cost of Obamacare; or maybe their hours have been reduced, so an employer can get below the threshold that is covered by Obamacare.
“Nancy Pelosi said when this law was on the verge of passage that we have to pass the law to find out what’s in it. Well that does appear to be the case, because Congress couldn’t even figure out how the law affected them. That’s why they went to Barack Obama two months ago and asked for a special sweetheart deal for Washington insiders – for the elected officials and their staffers who know how to work the system – and that’s what Barack Obama provided. And that’s what we’re standing up today and saying no to. 
“There will be no special sweetheart deals for Washington, DC insiders. If it’s good for you, America, then it’s good for us right here in Washington, DC. Now, you don’t hear some politicians saying these things. Some Washington politicians are saying Obamacare’s an amazing success story. Well it’s not surprising that they think it’s an amazing success story if they don’t have to follow the rules of Obamacare. Well when this law passes, all Senators, all Representatives, and their staffers, as well as Executive Branch officials, will have to follow Obamacare, which is exactly as it should be until we can repeal and defund this terrible law."