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Administration Disregards the Law and Gives Special Obamacare Deal to Congress

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 18, 2006
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    This morning, the Obama Administration released a proposed rule by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that has the effect of allowing Members of Congress and their staffs to buy health insurance coverage in the new exchanges (as required by Obamacare) and use the large, tax-free subsidy that they receive for their current coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) to pay for their new exchange coverage.
    As my colleagues and I pointed out in our paper last week, the federal government doesn’t actually have legal authority to pay for health coverage for federal workers in a plan that is not one of the plans contracted for by OPM under Title 5 Chapter 89 of the U.S. Code—which authorizes OPM to operate the FEHBP.
    In its new regulation, OPM points to the general definition of a health plan in 5 U.S.C. 8901(6), which reads:

    “health benefits plan’’ means a group insurance policy or contract, medical or hospital service agreement, membership or subscription contract, or similar group arrangement provided by a carrier for the purpose of providing, paying for, or reimbursing expenses for health services;

    OPM then blithely states:

    Although, pursuant to its authority under chapter 89 of title 5, OPM will have no role in “contracting for” or “approving” health benefit plans that are offered through the Exchanges, there is no doubt that such plans fit within the definition of “health benefit plan” under 8901(6).