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FL rep rips special Obamacare subsidy ahead of HHS visits

By   /   September 16, 2013  /   No Comments

By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog

TALLAHASSEE – When it comes to Obamacare, what’s good enough for the public apparently isn’t quite good enough for public officials.

RON DESANTIS

REP. RON DESANTIS, R-FL

And that’s just plain wrong, says U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla.

Last week, DeSantis introduced legislation to block what he calls “illegal Obamacare subsidies” for members of Congress and their staffs.

The bill filing came only days before U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius began the first of her three visits to Florida.

Sebelius was in Orlando on Friday, Jacksonville on Monday and will be in Miami on Tuesday. She’s in Florida to hype the health-care law and the government subsidies offered through the state’s insurance exchange, opening Oct 1.

But don’t expect her to highlight the better deal given to Congress.

The Affordable Care Act initially required most Capitol Hill employees to give up their federal health insurance by the end of this year and participate in the Obamacare state health exchanges – a central aspect of the health care overhaul.

But a recent administrative rule issued by the Office of Personnel and Management – Congress’s Human Resources Department – gives all members of Congress and their staffs a 75 percent across-the-board health exchange subsidy.

That’s much more than what’s offered to everyone else.

Government subsidies for the general public apply on a sliding scale and top out at 400 percent of the federal poverty line, that’s $46,000 for an individual or $94,000 for a family of four.

“We can’t treat ourselves as a separate governing class, we’re supposed to serve the American people,” DeSantis said in a Fox News interview.

“What the (administration) needed to do if they really wanted to create this special subsidy was pass a law, but they knew they wouldn’t be able to get away with that,” DeSantis said.


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William Patrick is Watchdog.org’s Florida reporter. His work has been featured by Fox News, the Drudge Report, and Townhall.com, as well as other national news and opinion websites. He’s also been cited and reposted by numerous state news organizations, including Florida Trend, Sunshine State News and the Miami Herald, and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Florida Press Association. William’s work has impacted discussions on education, privacy, criminal justice reform, and government and corporate accountability. Prior to joining Watchdog, William worked for the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee, Fla. There, he launched a legislative news website covering state economic issues. After leaving New York City in 2010, William worked for the Florida Attorney General’s Office where he assisted state attorneys general in prosecuting Medicaid Fraud. William graduated magna cum laude from Hunter College, City University of New York. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife and three young children.