Every other story about Obama’s union pals and government employees demanding waivers from the health-care disaster they supported pale in comparison to this one. ObamaCare is all about expanding the power of the Internal Revenue Service – that’s the only promise it has actually kept, the only part of the 11,000-page program that’s actually working the way it was supposed to. The IRS became as important to health care as any doctor or hospital when ObamaCare was passed, because they are its enforcement arm, and like all central planning schemes, there’s a huge amount of enforcing to be done.
And IRS employees want no part of the program they’ll be enforcing on everyone else. They know better than to get involved in this train wreck. They like their existing plan, and unlike you, they think they should be able to keep their plan. All that’s left now is for the “navigators” hired to shepherd confused Americans through the paperwork maze to unionize and demand a waiver from ObamaCare. I’m not sure if that’s sarcasm or prophecy.
From the Washington Examiner:
National Taxpayer Employee Union officials are urging members to write their congressional representatives in opposition to receiving coverage through President Obama???s health care law.
The union leaders are providing members with a form letter to send to the congressmen that says ???I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.???
The NTEU represents 150,000 federal employees overall, including most of the nearly 100,000 IRS workers.
This is actually fallout from a previous embarrassing “no ObamaCare for us!” spectacle, in which congressional representatives began moaning that they can’t possibly retain the gigantic imperial retinue of staffers they deserve, if they have to start managing their offices under the same terms they cheerfully imposed upon private-sector businesses. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced a bill that would push every federal worker into the ObamaCare exchanges, the same way Barack Obama is trying to shove every American into the public exchanges. That’s where you end up when your employer realizes Obama is offering him cash-money incentives to kill your health care plan, as well as cut your hours back to part-time, if possible.
As ObamaCare gadfly Avik Roy observed at Forbes, there is a melancholy aspect to Camp’s legislation, because the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program “has long been considered a model for market-based reform of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.”
In the FEHBP, employees get to choose amongst a wide variety of plans offered by private insurers. The employer???the government???then subsidizes about three-fourths of the cost to the employee. The employee can choose a more generous or expensive plan if he wants, but he has to pay for a portion of the difference in price, and vice versa. As a result of this approach, FEHBP plans have organically evolved to contain the benefits and financial features that consumers want. By contrast, any minor change to Medicare requires an act of Congress.
Roy generally agrees with the principle of “ObamaCare for all, or ObamaCare for none” but wishes FEHBP could be kept alive as a model for true reform. “Indeed, if Obamacare had allowed Americans to participate in the same system that federal employees enjoy, it would have been a much better law,” he writes.
I take his point, but really, if ObamaCare is not repealed soon, there’s no point in keeping any superior market-based model programs alive. The ObamaCare death spiral will involve progressively less market choice, as insurance plans continue to disappear, doctors contract their practices, and even hospitals go belly-up (something the Medicare trustees anticipate will begin happening around 2019.) The secret true purpose of ObamaCare is to wipe out private insurance and pave the way for single-payer socialized medicine, which is why every story about the disintegration of the President’s scheme includes another group of Americans forced into the public exchanges. The longer this goes on, the less interest anyone at the controls of this train wreck will have in “market-based reforms.” There’s no reason to let a few privileged public employees enjoy superior insurance benefits to preserve a museum of What Could Have Been.
I suspect Rep. Camp’s resolve will only be strengthened by the news that IRS employees want one of those priceless ObamaCare waivers that most of us can only dream about. “If the Obamacare exchanges are good enough for the hardworking Americans and small businesses the law claims to help, then they should be good enough for the president, vice president, Congress and federal employees,” a spokeswoman said of the Congressman’s initiative. That goes double for the government employees who will collecting all those trans-Constitutional “tax penalties” from the rest of us. You want out of this nightmare, IRS employees? I don’t blame you a bit. Join the ObamaCare repeal movement.