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Senator Files Lawsuit To Eliminate ObamaCare Subsidy For Congress

ron johnson2

ron johnson1

Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said Monday that he decided to sue the Obama administration over the subsidy for lawmakers in the president’s health care law because it is unfair to give members of Congress special treatment. Johnson said the subsidy creates a double standard that favors members of Congress and their staff over other Americans, and should be eliminated.

“It’s a matter of basic fairness,” Johnson said. “It’s also a matter of standing up, ensuring that we actually enforce the rule of law because, let’s face it, this president across the board is pretty well just ignoring his constitutional duty, his oath of office to faithfully execute the law.”

Johnson said Congress has tried the legislative route to getting rid of the subsidy, such as amendments in the House and the Senate, but they failed. He added, since lawmakers exhausted all their legislative options, they must turn to the courts.

Johnson also said he hopes getting rid of the subsidy will show Democrats the reality of ObamaCare. “The only way they are going to start changing this law, the only way they are going to start repairing and limiting the damage is if they feel the full, harsh realities of the law and that’s another thing this lawsuit would actually accomplish,” he said.

In defense of the suit, Johnson said, “I don’t in any way, shape or form believe this is trivial, believe this is frivolous, believe this is a stunt.” The suit notes that under the Affordable Care Act, members of Congress and their staffs are to receive health insurance coverage either created under that law or offered through the online insurance exchanges set up by the law. Johnson brought his lawsuit five days after that provision was to kick in.

The suit says the Office of Personnel Management has essentially designated the federal government as a small business by allowing members of Congress to buy insurance through an exchange set up for employers with fewer than 100 workers. “The federal government has millions of employees, and even Congress itself has more than 11,000 employees. Obviously, neither the federal government nor the Congress could possibly qualify as a small business under the Affordable Care Act,” the suit says.

The suit contends the personnel office passed a rule beyond its legal authority. Further, the rule violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution because it treats members of Congress and their staffs differently than employees of small businesses who buy insurance through the exchange. That’s because private-sector employees cannot buy insurance through the exchanges using tax-exempt payments from their employers.

Johnson was joined at his news conference by former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement and Rick Esenberg, president and general counsel for the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, a conservative public-interest law firm. Esenberg is serving as Johnson’s attorney. Clement, an attorney with a national reputation who argued against the constitutionality of ObamaCare before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012, is an appellate consultant on Johnson’s case.

The other plaintiff in the case is Johnson’s legislative counsel, Brooke Ericson. As a congressional staff member, she is affected by the federal rule at the heart of the case.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After serving in the United States Navy for 22 years I retired from the service late in 1991. Having always loved the southwest, shortly after retiring, I moved to the Albuquerque area where I have resided since. Initially I worked as a contractor for approximately 6 years doing cable construction work. That becoming a little dangerous, at an elevated age, I moved into the retail store management environment managing convenience stores for roughly 16 years. With several disabilities, I am now fully retired and am getting more involved with helping Pastor Dewey & Pastor Paul with their operations at FGGAM which pleases my heart greatly as it truly is - "For God's Glory Alone". I met my precious wife Sandy here in Albuquerque and we have been extremely happily married for 18 years and I am the very proud father to Sandy's wonderful children, Tiana, our daughter, Ryan & Ross, our two sons, and proud grandparents to 5 wonderful grandchildren. We attend Christ Full Deliverance Ministries in Rio Rancho which is lead by Pastor's Marty & Paulette Cooper along with Elder Mable Lopez as regular members. Most of my time is now spent split between my family, my church & helping the Pastors by writing here on the FGGAM website and doing everything I can to support this fantastic ministry in the service of our Lord. Praise to GOD & GOD Bless to ALL!

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